Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Talking Tourism To The Graveyard II

Every once in a while, a motley of lawmakers and interest groups get together and start a discussion on the tourism sector and how to reorganize it. The mischief makers are so determined that they had even gone so far as to engineer a debate on the subject – during a RIGGS session in Phuentsholing sometime in 2015. Fortunately, the motion to do away with the Minimum Daily Tariff was defeated. Even today, Dr. Karma Tshering, founder of BSTS messages me, after the meeting on tourism that was concluded 2-3 days back: “Think positively – we are able to hold on regardless of the threats”. This was in response to my vehement refusal to attend the meeting on tourism, on grounds that I have said more than enough on the subject.

Year after year, unfailingly, the discussion that tops the agenda when discussing tourism is: How To Do Away With The Minimum Daily Tariff. Nothing beyond that – there is no creativity, no fresh thinking or bold new ideas that are offered. They are all stuck at: Doing away with the Minimum Daily Tariff.

Strangely, while these people seem to be clueless about the demerits of doing away with the Minimum Daily Tariff, they seem to be in total confusion as to what they really wish to achieve. This is evident from the slogan that has now come into vogue: High Value, Low Volume. We had earlier aimed at: High Value, Low Impact.

ONE: if it is low volume we want, then what the hell is this entire ruckus all about – of increasing inflow? If low volume is the aim, then damn well STOP PROMOTING TOURISM!!

TWO: How will freeing up the Minimum Daily Tariff help us maintain low volume?

THREE: If high volume is what we want, how can we assure low impact?

It is disgusting that people can be so utterly confused!

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