The timely in­ter­ven­tion

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs last week is­sued a no­ti­fi­ca­tion re­gard­ing the grow­ing con­cerns over hold­ing of in­ter­na­tional meet­ings and con­fer­ences in Bhutan dur­ing the peak tourist sea­sons. The no­ti­fi­ca­tion states that the Min­istry is fully aware of the con­tri­bu­tions of host­ing in­ter­na­tional and re­gional con­fer­ences in Bhutan in strength­en­ing our re­la­tions with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and pro­mot­ing the Brand Bhutan.

The ben­e­fits it reaps by hold­ing the in­ter­na­tional and meet­ings in Bhutan is im­mense but a grow­ing con­cern has been al­ways felt when such meet­ing and con­fer­ences are held in peak tourist sea­son giv­ing pres­sure on the tourism in­fra­struc­ture es­pe­cially the ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion and air­line seats which are stretched to its lim­ited dur­ing the peak tourist sea­son months of March – April- May, Septem­ber – Oc­to­ber – Novem­ber.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion re­quest all the min­istries , con­sti­tu­tional bod­ies, au­ton­o­mous agen­cies , cor­po­rate and pri­vate sec­tors to avoid host­ing of large which ex­ceeds above 30 in­ter­na­tional par­tic­i­pants of in­ter­na­tional and re­gional con­fer­ences and other such events dur­ing the peak tourist sea­son.

Re­fer­ring to the Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy 2010 and the Tourism Coun­cil of Bhutan have in­cor­po­rated the Tourism Rules and Reg­u­la­tions 2017 for MICE par­tic­i­pants who are in Bhutan for at­tend­ing only the meet­ings and con­fer­ences from Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Fees (SDF) pay­ing coun­tries shall be ex­empted from SDF for ad­di­tional two days be­sides the ac­tual du­ra­tion of the con­fer­ence and meet­ing.

The two days are pro­vided as in­cen­tives for leisure stay pro­vide the MICE par­tic­i­pants are in Bhutan dur­ing the lean sea­sons. More over there should be more than thirty par­tic­i­pants com­ing for the in­ter­na­tional meet­ings and con­fer­ences in Bhutan for a min­i­mum of one day.

The no­ti­fi­ca­tion states the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs will take into ac­count the tim­ing of these events and ac­cord­ing clear­ance for the con­fer­ence and meet­ings to be or­ga­nized in Bhutan will be is­sued. The no­ti­fi­ca­tion also states that a min­i­mum of 30 days no­tice must be given to the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs when ap­ply­ing for the clear­ance to host the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ences in Bhutan and the no­ti­fi­ca­tion will come into ef­fect from 1st of Jan­uary 2018.

The tourism In­dus­try was first opened in 1974. Since then it has grown to be­come, a ma­jor con­tribut­ing fac­tor to the Bhutanese econ­omy cre­at­ing count­less em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and gen­er­at­ing ad­di­tional rev­enue for the gov­ern­ment.

The gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to build­ing a sus­tain­able tourism in­dus­try that is not only fi­nan­cially vi­able but also lim­its the neg­a­tive cul­tural and en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts com­monly as­so­ci­ated with the cul­ture of mass tourism.

Tourism in­dus­try in a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to the na­tional ex­che­quer and with the timely in­ter­ven­tion like some of these ini­tia­tives, the tourism in­dus­try is bound to grow.

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