Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) has been listed among the World’s 75 Most Innovative Organizations in Tourism Policy 2021.
“…when Bhutan opened to foreign tourists in the 1970s, our leadership resisted the temptations to harness the quick fortunes from mass tourism and instead was prescient to formulate a visionary policy of High Value, Low Volume tourism…” -His Majesty The King, (2019).
Even before the pandemic, the press release from the TCB states that the global tourism industry has been exploring ways to reshape the way people travel, seeking solutions to minimize impacts of tourism on the environment and opportunities to increase economic justice for tourism communities.
In adding, it states that the TCB has been upholding Bhutan as one of the most exclusive tourist destinations in the world based on “High-value Low volume” (HVLV) tourism. This visionary policy and practice of HVLV have guided Bhutan’s approach to tourism long before sustainable and responsible tourism concepts were introduced in the global tourism sphere.
The Director General (DG) of the TCB, Dorji Dhradhul said, “I believe this recognition is a direct result of our time-tested tourism policy and practice based on the Royal envisioned principle of ‘High-value Low volume’ tourism. HVLV pursues objectives beyond revenue and receipts, thereby foregoing the possible quick returns that can be received from mass tourism.”
In adding, DG said “HVLV chooses regulated and managed tourism over mass/over-tourism and quality over quantity. HVLV pursues to provide exclusive and immersive and less is more tourism. Therefore with utmost humility and deepest gratitude, we would like to dedicate this honor to the visionary leadership of our extraordinary Kings.”
It further states that it has now become a necessity to rethink tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic—“TCB strives to make a comeback to rebuild lives and livelihoods through a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive tourism economy.”
As Bhutan steps up efforts to become a global model ecotourism destination, this is reckoned as another milestone in Bhutan’s journey to achieving High-value tourism goals. By launching plans to mainstream biodiversity conservation into the tourism development and position itself as “a model ecotourism destination”, Bhutan is possibly now a step ahead of tourism around the world, states the press release.
“Today, as the world is grappling with the climate change crisis and since last year with the COVID-19 pandemic, the destinations worldwide are also seriously exploring for new tourism model that ensures sustainability, health, and happiness of the mother earth and the mankind. I believe this new model of tourism that the world is looking for could be the old model of Bhutan’s HVLV tourism. In other words, World’s New is Bhutan’s Old”, added the DG.
Meanwhile, the organizations recognized by Apolitical, as the 75 Most Innovative Organizations in Tourism Policy 2021, are public agencies or non-governmental organizations that use policy, programs, and projects to build creative solutions to challenges. Often these agencies implement solutions that make it easier for governments to leverage private sector speed, technology, scale, and efficiency to accelerate outcomes.
While the organizations were nominated through an open nominations process that included recommendations from individuals, NGOs, organizations, governments, and global leaders. Organizations were ranked and selected by a team of expert reviewers. The list was announced by Apolitical, in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Mastercard during UNWTO’s celebration of World Tourism Day on 27th September 2021.
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