Bhutan was awarded the Earth Award at a ceremony in ITB (International Tourism Bourse) in Berlin, Germany on March 7.
Tourism Council of Bhutan’s (TCB) director, Chhimmy Pem, said the Tourism Council of Bhutan was delighted to receive this prestigious award that was initiated to recognise and appreciate tourism destinations that were working towards developing sustainable and responsible tourism.
“More importantly, it is a testimony to the wise and visionary leadership of our monarchs, the government’s commitment towards protecting and preserving our environment, and the tourism industry’s effort in developing sustainable tourism,” she said. “It is a wonderful opportunity to further boost Bhutan’s image in the world.”
A jury representing 12 leading sustainable tourism organisations and networks selected Bhutan among more than 100 top sustainable tourism destinations.
TCB spokesperson, Damcho Rinzin, said the award programme was initiated to recognise and appreciate tourism destinations that were working towards managing tourism and their commitment in sustainable tourism development and promotion. “It also provides a platform to showcase green destinations to the world.”
“We thank the jury for recognising Bhutan’s leadership on the global stage and its commitment to combat climate change, to protect and to preserve the environment,” he said.
A total of 27 Bhutanese tour operators are participating in the ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade fair in Germany.
Each year, about 10,000 exhibitors from more than 180 countries and the region, including tour operators, booking system developers, airlines, hotels, and other businesses concerned with tourism participate in the event.
Damcho Rinzin said the event is a premium platform for global tourism players with over 160,000 visitors participating in the event.
Bhutan was in top three for Earth Award last year. In 2016 too, Bhutan was among the top 100 sustainable destinations.