|The Tashichhoedzong in Thimphu|
Bhutan and Thailand celebrated 25 years of friendship and diplomatic relations, coinciding with His Majesty the King’s 34 birth anniversary yesterday.
On the occasion the Royal Government of Bhutan has made an offer to the government of Thailand for promoting people to people contact in continuing its friendship and bilateral cooperation through tourism.
The ‘Bhutan- Thailand Friendship Offer’ was launched by His Royal Highness Prince Jigyel Ugyen Wangchuk in J.W Marriott Hotel in Bangkok yesterday.
As a part of the ‘Bhutan – Thailand Friendship offer’ the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) would exempt the Thai nationals from paying the mandatory minimum daily package rate and would only levy the daily royalty of USD 65 person per night during the peak seasons like June, July and August.
Further Drukair and Bhutan Airlines would offer 50 % discounts on airfares to the Thai nationals, while hotels would also provide discount of 50% for every halt. In addition Thai visitors would enjoy a special airport reception arrangement on arrival.
However, such facilities will be offered only to those Thai nationals who visit Bhutan through licensed Bhutanese tour operators.
During the launch the Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that such an exceptional offer particularly to the Thai nationals would further strengthen the relationship between the two countries and its people.
Lyonchhen also added that Thai and Bhutanese citizens have similar reverence and respect for the His Majesty and the royal families for both the countries. “More importantly this year Bhutan and Thailand celebrates its 25 years of friendship” said Lyonchhen.
The Prime Minister also added that apart from agriculture and hydro power, tourism is an important means for economic development and generating revenue for the country. Hence he said that it is very important to promote tourism in Bhutan by coming up with special plans and programs for visitors.
Lyonchhen said that tourists have the perception of a cold harsh climate during winter and incessant rainfall during summer which is why many visitors chose to visit in the month of June, July and August. Therefore, the government has plans to attract more visitors by providing diversification of services and products.
“This is the first such offer for the first time by Bhutan to Thailand, and similar offers would be made to other countries too” Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said. The PM said that such an offer to Thailand would also serve as a trial opportunity.
Tanden Zangmo/ Thimphu (Published in The Bhutanese, Feb. 21st, 2014)