The concession of 65 US dollar per day for three years to tourists visiting eastern dzongkhags by the previous government may have benefited or may benefit in future, according to the minister of economic affairs, Loknath Sharma.
Bardo-Trong MP, Gyembo Tshering during the question hour asked the minister how the concession had benefited the people, indicating that tourism has biggest potential to create employment and generate revenue. He also asked the minister what were the flagship programmes from the government to develop tourism in southern and central Bhutan.
In response, the minister said that there is separate agency for tourism. He said that the government is preparing to open tourism offices in different regions. The minister informed the house that the community based tourism action plan is under implementation, even in Zhemgang.
The minister said that the government have tourism flagship programme 12th Five Year Plan while training for skills and capacity building is going on. He pointed out some activities like the toilet construction in Yotongla and Sengor, the plan to organize a bird festival in Zhemgang to promote tourism. He said that the ministry is examining for other possibilities to promote tourism.
In a supplementary answer, the Prime Minister said that there is need for proper tourism policy. He said, “There is no strong policy on tourism where ‘high value, low impact’ policy contradict at time when said that the numbers of tourists should be increased.” He said that this policy needs to be reviewed. The Lyonchhn also said that there no potential to make every districts a tourist destination rather revenue generated from potential tourist destination can be divided with other regions.
By Sangay Rabten