English | Dzongkha Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tourist hotels boom over the last four years

Sonam Choden, Thimphu
Aug 3, 2017

The number of tourist hotels certified by the Tourism council of Bhutan (TCB) has increased over the last four years. Going by what has been reflected in the State of the Nation Report, 2017, from 62 hotels in 2013, the number spiked to 116 last year.

According to TCB, this is due to good business opportunity in tourism and an indication of success in tourism sector.

TCB officials said the increase in the number of certified tourist hotels has also added revenue to the government’s coffer and help provide gainful employment opportunities in the country. Such successful developments also show that Bhutanese do have the capacity to invest in the hospitality industry.

The TCB certified hotels not only include high-end resorts but also homestays especially in rural areas.

“If the hotels are not certified by TCB, the travel agents are not allowed to bring international tourists to the hotels. If certified then, we can host international tourists which help us to boost our business,” said the Proprietor of Hotel Migmar in Thimphu , Kezang Dorji.

Some other hoteliers also outlined similar opinions.

“When TCB gives us the rating, there are guidelines along with it. So we follow the guidelines which are precise in terms of requirements in the hotels,” said Ratu, the General Manager of Hotel Jomolhari in Thimphu.

Hotels with three to five star ratings can accommodate international tourists. Tourism Council evaluates the star ratings once after every three years to ensure quality services and facilities.

“For example, if it is inside the room, we examine the size of the room and also look at environmental friendly practices. We then take into account services provided,” said TCB’s Media Spokesperson, Damcho Rinzin. “We have about eight criteria and within that 8 criteria, there are many other sub criteria that our pool of assessors, experts from different fields assess tourist accommodation facilities. And then ratings are done.”

The system to rate the hotels was started in 2010 to uphold the tourism policy of ‘High Value Low Impact.’ TCB provides trainings and fiscal incentives to hoteliers to expand their newfound knowledge related to hospitality services. Meanwhile, Bhutan is seeing an increasing number of tourists every year.

In 2015, some 155,000 tourists came to Bhutan. The number increased to over 200,000 last year. For many tourists, Bhutan is considered as an ultimate getaway.



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