Thursday, July 11, 2019

History Of Tourism In Bhutan: PART I of V

The Creation of Department of Tourism (DoT)
Going by written records available, there is proof that the Department of Tourism (DoT) was created in 1971, as a Department under the Ministry of Finance. Her Royal Highness Ashi Sonam Choden Wangchuck, His Majesty’s Representative in the Ministry of Finance, signed the order.

However, living witnesses bear testimony to the fact that there was no tourism activity for the next 2 years following the creation of the DoT. The only visitors to the country then were guests of the Royal Family and, in very rare cases, those of the Royal Government of Bhutan.

It was not until 1974 that the first-ever paying tourist group entered Bhutan.

Before I proceed further into the historical background of the development of tourism in the country, I feel it is necessary to put on record the following:

A resolution adopted during the 36th Session of the National Assembly on 7th June, 1972 reads as following:

In view of the likelihood that, despite being in its initial stage of development, Bhutan would attract a large number of tourists, the Cabinet had prepared a draft of rules governing tourism in the country. After due consideration of the same, the Assembly accorded its approval.

From the above, it becomes clear that a Tourism Act was tabled in the National Assembly and duly approved in 1972. So then where is that Act? And why are we talking of enacting a new Tourism Act?

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