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Action plan to set standards in budget hotels

All budget hotels in the country would have to follow a basic standard from January next year.

An action plan has already been developed. Senior tourism officer with the Tourism Council of Bhutan, Karma Tenzin who developed the plan during a month-long training in Japan, said that while international tourist stayed in three, four and five star hotels with good facilities, safety and services, the regional tourist mostly chose low-budget hotels.

“We have already drafted the standards based on the criteria and parameters.  After assessment reports and validation of budget hotels, we are expected to create awareness of set standards to the hotel owners,” Karma Tenzin said.

The action plan used the concept of Omotenashi, a Japanese tradition of providing hospitality and develops capacity for sustainable tourism in the country. Karma Tenzin said Omotenashi relates with Diglam Namzha. “It is the little extra that we put in organising our services, he said. “Omotenashi teaches us to be indifferent in the way we provide services to all types of visitors—international or regional.”

In 2018, regional tourist accounted for 73.8 percent of visitors in the country. However, inclusive development with set standards in budget hotels would help Bhutan provide standard services to regional tourist.

Karma Tenzin said that there are 560 low-budget hotels in the country with no standards, safety and questionable services. Moreover, he said that most of the tourist sites in the country lack information system. “Usually, tourist guides are the only source of information.”

“Bhutan can encourage roadmaps, brochures, quick response (QR) codes, simulation videos in important places to provide correct and detailed information,” Karma Tenzin added.

“We must develop a holistic information tool. Although TCB has a strategy in place, we need to develop proper contents and share it with the stakeholders,” he added.

The training was provided by Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Choki Wangmo

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