Gov­ern­ment has big plans for Bhutan tourism

Gen Tanasak leads high-level of­fi­cial visit

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

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.

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