I am currently traveling on business so I am not able to write an elaborate and effusive eulogy on the government’s recent roll back of their policy on the unwarranted hike in the monument fees. It was a shameful and insensitive thing to do, particularly after the atrocious increase in the SDF to US$200.00 from the earlier US$65.00. In the face of unrealistic increase in the SDF, the government should have, instead, done away with the monument fees entirely - on the grounds that the increase in SDF would more than cover any and all costs towards maintaining the monuments.
This is a case of the government admitting that they had made a mistake - this is good. Instead of being on an ego trip, it is wise to eat humble pie and do what is right - remedy the mistakes. As I keep saying, it would be too late by the time you say sorry … saying sorry does not resurrect a dead man. If you realize a mistake has been made, correct it before it is too late.
For the foot soldiers of the tourism sector, it has been near impossible to explain the rationale behind charging atrociously high monument fees - in addition to having to pay SDF of US$200.00.
There are many other policy absurdities with the post-pandemic Tourism Policy 2022. We need to correct them as well …. And we need to do it PRONTO. Soon is not soon enough. Any further delay may be too late to save Bhutan from the economic woes that are already evident.
The relevance of tourism to Bhutan’s economic vitality has been sufficiently proven in the aftermath of the introduction of the ill-conceived tourism policy.
As I keep saying over and over again, making mistakes is not a problem - the problem is when we refuse to accept to learn from them, for the better. Great things are achieved through humility.
Like someone commented on one of my blogs, if citizens are wailing, it is akin to a baby crying out for attention of his/her parents. Unfortunately, the first reaction of the parent is most often to see if the baby had wet his/her diapers - it is rarely to see what the need of the child is. First thought of the parent is that the child must have done something wrong to be kicking up a ruckus.
Remember - babies wail because their needs have been ignored - not because they peed in their diapers.