Saturday, April 1, 2023

Yet Another Brew Inside The Government’s Wort Kettle

Seems like something pungent is yet again brewing inside the government’s kettle. According to the most recent pronouncement coming from the head of the government “tourists could be allowed to stay in non-star hotels”.

At a mandatory SDF of US$200.00 per person per night, the tourist could be allowed to be accommodated in a non-star hotel? PREPOSTEROUS!!!

Antar Mantar Janturu, Tiru Ngagi Zanturu

The government seems to have forgotten that even at SDF of US$65.00 per person per night halt - the RGoB required the tour operators to provide 3-star accommodation. At SDF of US$200.00, the tourists ought to have the right to insist on 10-star hotel accommodation - in the class of the likes of Dubai’s Burj Al Arab!

One and a half decades later, what my French friend told me in disgust is coming true: “You Bhutanese think that the world owes you a living”.

But to be fair, does it really matter what class hotel? Recently I went on an inspection trip to select hotels for my guests who were due to arrive in the country during the mid of last month. It was amazing what I discovered in some of the supposedly 3-star hotels. Few of the carelessness I observed were the following:

…   One Suite Room had a master bedroom’s wall mirror all of 24 inches square;
…   A room I inspected in another hotel had a creaking bathroom door;
…   The wash-basin in a bathroom of another hotel was placed so low that its
      use could have caused severe back pain;
…   One bathroom I inspected had such a slippery floor – I would not have dared use it;
…  One hotel’s bedroom was so poorly lit that I would have had to use a headlamp to see anything;
…   One hotel room did have intercom system – but there was no direction as
      to what button to punch – to access any of the hotel’s services, if any;
…  In another hotel, I had to wait for the Receptionist for nearly half an hour – his excuse:
      he had to go for lunch. This means the Reception Desk is left unattended during lunch/tea/dinner breaks.

I earnestly plead with the government that before they do anything further in the area of tourism, I request that they rationalize the SDF rate to a level that is commensurate with our competences.

I do hear unsubstantiated rumors that the government is in fact working on revising the SDF rate but according to a friend, what is being considered is something rather - in his words - “CROOKED!”.

I asked: “What kind of crooked”?

“I am told that the government is contemplating giving 50% waiver on SDF. For instance a tourist visiting Bhutan for ten days will be charged at US$200.00 per day for the first five days - the second 5 days will be SDF FREE.

“Why such round-about mathematics - why not straight-forward SDF of US$100.00 for the entire duration of their visit”? What if a tourist comes only for three days?"

“What can you say - crooked minds work in crooked ways

I loved that one - simply priceless!!!! 😜😜😜😜😜

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