BPL matches help boost hotel business in Dagapela, Dagana

Football has always meant more than just a game of soccer. The sport brings together communities, fosters unity and beyond that it has also meant economic growth in places where the game is held. In the country, this is evident in places hosting the ongoing BOB Bhutan Premier League matches. The otherwise merely thriving businesses in Dagana’s Dagapela town are seeing a much-needed boost for their businesses. Football clubs from other districts visiting Dagapela to play BPL’s away matches at Dagapela artificial turf has helped improve hotel business.

Usually as night falls, all the three hotels in the town used to close with a few or no customers at all.

But the situation was different when Thimphu City FC and the Bhutan Football Federation’s staff occupied all the three hotels in the town on the 30th of last month as Daga United FC played their second home match against Thimphu City FC at the newly inaugurated Dagapela artificial football turf.

The hotels were jam-packed with the visiting football players taking meals, leaving no space for local customers.

Nar Bdr. Bal, a hotelier in Dagapela said, “Until today, the business wasn’t good, both in terms of rooms and meals. But today, as we hoped and expected, even if it means one match in three months, we are seeing more customers.”

Similarly, Pampha Devi, who also runs a hotel in Dagapela said, “The football tournament has benefited hoteliers immensely. For years, our hotel business has been struggling to get customers. Owing to the artificial ground here, players from other places come to play matches here. Our hotel rooms are packed and football players also order meals which is really helpful for us.”

Besides hoteliers, the BPL’s matches at Dagapela have also helped grocery shops in the town, which once struggled to keep their businesses afloat.

Sangay Wangmo, a shopkeeper in the town said that her shop which usually remains empty is now getting visitors. “This has helped us earn income even if it is only a small shop. Moreover, as my shop is located just next to a hotel, I am benefiting more.”

For now, Thimphu City FC has left Dagapela after spending two nights in the town. But this is not the last home match for Daga United FC. Seven more home matches will be played at the artificial football turf for the BPL. This means hoteliers and shops in the town can expect a few more chances to mint money out of the ‘beautiful game’.

Pema Tshewang, Dagana

Edited by Phub Gyem   

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