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Bhutan takes a step

Though the overall global scenario arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic is far from being close to satisfactory, Bhutan


Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  10 May 2020 5:11 AM GMT

Though the overall global scenario arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic is far from being close to satisfactory, the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, which shares international boundary with Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim, has already taken its first step towards post-lockdown economic recovery. While tourism earns maximum valuable foreign exchange for Bhutan after export of hydro-electric power, it is but quite natural that the kingdom has to look forward to opening up to tourists as early as possible in the post-COVID situation. That exactly is why the Tourism Council of Bhutan has already started activating is social media platforms, and has begun telling the people outside various aspects of the beautiful places there which look no different from picture postcards of the pre-digital era. On May 7, the Council announced that a group of guides, trekking cooks, and drivers – those who signed up for the royal government's Employment Support Scheme – had started cleaning up and carrying out basic trail maintenance for the globally renowned Bumdra trek. Obviously no announcement has been made about resuming the trekking activities, but then the Tourism Council of Bhutan has thus quietly launched a sublime campaign, at the same time also asking the stakeholders to adhere to the Do's and Don'ts on COVID-19, and also help in creating awareness on the same. The same day, two important functionaries - Director General of Tourism Council of Bhutan and the President of the Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research also came on a regional webinar to speak about the country's preparations for welcoming tourists once the pandemic was over. Bhutan has in the meantime announced "Wellness and Wellbeing" as her theme to attract visitors under its revised "High-Value Low Volume" tourism policy. That Bhutan is optimist that the coronavirus pandemic will subside in the next couple of months also became evident when the Council's website on Saturday announced dates for the cultural and fishing tours in September and the Jambay Lhakhang in October this year. So close to Assam and the Northeast, these moves of Bhutan should serve as eye-openers for the Governments of the region which has been the least affected by the coronavirus.

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