The Tourism Council of Bhutan conducted a successful series of Bhutan Roadshows in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane during January.
Travel industry partners in each city were invited to meet with a VIP government delegation from Bhutan and locally-based Bhutan tourism operators – including COMO Uma Bhutan, Taj Tashi and Gangtey Lodge – to discuss opportunities for increasing Australian travel to this popular holiday destination, which already draws many visitors from this market each year.
The VIP delegation was headed by His Excellency, Honourable Minister Lekey Dorji, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Vice Chairman of the Tourism Council of Bhutan accompanied by Honourable Dasho Kinzang Wangdi, Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat; Honourable Dasho Sonam Topgay, Secretary, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs; Dasho Kesang Wangdi, Director General, Department of Bilateral Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Mrs Chhimmy Pem, Director, Tourism Council of Bhutan and other Bhutan officials. The Sydney event was also attended by Sydney-based Honorary Consul General for Bhutan, Catherine Harris.
Much of the focus for discussion at the Bhutan Roadshows was on the Australia Friendship Offer for Australians visiting this stunning destination from 1 June to 31 August 2018.
This exclusive offer from the Royal Government of Bhutan commemorates 15 years of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Bhutan and Australia.
The Bhutan – Australia Friendship Offer is based on the following:
- Visitors may choose not to pay the all-inclusive mandatory minimum daily package rate of US$200 per person per night. Instead, visitors will pay only the government Sustainable Development Fee of US$65 per person per night.
- Visitors can take advantage of discounted fare on airlines.
- Visitors can enjoy up to 50% discounts in partnering hotels.
- Visitors have flexibility/choice of services.
- Visitors do not have to pay the surcharge of US$40 per person per night and US$30 each for two persons.
- A special airport reception will be held on arrival of the first group.
Terms and conditions:
- Valid for travel from 1 June to 31 August 2018.
- Available to Australian nationals only.
- One-time visa fee of US$40 is applicable.
As part of the roadshow, the Tourism Council of Bhutan hosted a media briefing. LATTE attended the Sydney event, held at The Westin over a high tea of scones, jam and cream, where the delegation announced its aim to double the number of Australian tourists (2200 in 2017), aided by the completion of the Bhutan East-West Highway this year, making transit much quicker and easier.
Bhutan is known for its ‘Gross National Happiness’, a sustainable index that is based upon four main pillars:
- Equitable and equal socio-economic development
- Preservation and promotion of cultural and spiritual heritage
- Conservation of the environment
- Good governance that is interwoven, complementary and consistent