Government has big plans for Bhutan tourism
Gen Tanasak leads high-level official visit
The Thai and Bhutanese governments plan to expand tourism cooperation to boost the tourism sectors of the two countries and highlight Thailand as a key destination.
Deputy Prime Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn said Thailand and Bhutan are considering holding events to promote the culture and tourism of the respective countries.
He was speaking as he took a group of Thai officials to help arrange an exhibition to honour the late King in Bhutan which will be held until Dec 31.
It is the first exhibition held to honour the late King in a foreign country, Gen Tanasak said.
During his official visit to Bhutan, Gen Tanasak had a bilateral meeting with Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay to discuss a coordinated tourism programme. It is his first visit to Bhutan as deputy prime minister.
Gen Tanasak said Thailand will extend an invitation to Bhutanese officials to travel to the country to discuss tourism cooperation under the “Two Kingdoms, One Destination” project.
The project is aimed at stimulating tourism activities and enhancing Thailand’s reputation for its rich culture.
On tourism cooperation, Thailand and Bhutan agreed to jointly hold an event entitled the “Thai- Bhutan Festival” in Bhutan in March next year to promote the culture and tourism of both countries, he added....
Gen Tanasak, who is a former foreign minister, said Thailand has a policy of fostering bilateral cooperation on tourism with Bhutan.
The relationship between the royal families of the two countries has been cordial and the relationship between the governments of the two countries has been close.
Recently, Thailand and Bhutan signed a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) on tourism including tax exemptions for Thai tourists but no progress has been made, he said, adding the sales tax rate in Bhutan is too high.
The two countries also signed a MoU on sports, he said adding Thailand will send certified golf instructors to teach people in Bhutan how to play golf.
Gen Tanasak said the Bhutanese premier praised his Thai counterpart Gen Prayut Chan- o- cha for his unflinching commitment to the bilateral relationship, adding the Bhutanese prime minister had met Gen Prayut on two previous occasions.
Meanwhile, Gen Tanasak had an opportunity to have an audience with the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck last Friday, which marked the 10th anniversary of the King’s accession to the throne at the King’s new Palace.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck took the Thai delegation on a tour of his new palace himself, he added.
The King also showed them pictures of previous Kings of Bhutan and told stories about each King, Gen Tanasak said.
Gen Tanasak said the Bhutanese King expressed his appreciation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s initiatives on the environment and his sufficiency economy philosophy.
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck said the late King Bhumibol is a shining example of what a king should be, he added.
Gen Tanasak took the opportunity to thank the Bhutanese King for his generosity as he lit candles at a temple in Bhutan following the news of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s passing. he also visited Bangkok to take part in mourning rites.
The monarch and the royal family also led a group of clergy, senior government officials and the Thai community in Bhutan in offering a thousand butter lamps and prayers in memory of the Thai King at the local temple.