Resort Business Boom in Paro

Tashi Namgay resort – New resort opposite Paro airport

29 September, 2008 – The resorts business in Paro has gained steam with more than 30 percent of the country’s resorts and hotels for tourists already in the valley and about 19 more under construction.

But do they have enough customers to survive? Many of these resort and hotel owners are private individuals and families who already own properties in Paro. Some of them manage to survive with a limited number of tourists coming in a year, say one of the resort owners. Of the 101 resorts and hotels approved by the tourism council this year, Paro has the highest number with 30.

Kinley Dema of Janka Resorts said that although she has good contacts with some local travel agents who bring her tourists, the increasing number of resorts and hotels in Paro will affect her business. “The business is just manageable right now,” she said. There’s a new resort being built about two kilometers away from her resort.

On the other hand, Dawa Dem, who’s helping her family built a resort, Tashi Namgay resort, opposite Paro airport, said that they have everything planned out. “We will work with the local tour companies and the room rates are going to be reasonable,” she said adding that they own the land and started construction in 2005. The resort on the eight-acre-land has 35 rooms.

Most of these resort and hotel owners are hopeful that the business would be good in Paro with the increasing number of tourists coming in every year especially this year for the coronation and centenary celebrations.

In 2006, the country saw a record number of tourists with 17,365, up by almost 4,000 tourists compared with 2005. About 21,094 tourists visited the country in 2007, the highest so far.

Gaki D Dorji, who is building a resort called Udumwar just below Zhiwaling hotel in Paro, said that there’s going to be tough competition. “The resort is a family project and its success would depend on our networking, our contacts and our service,” she said. “My son has a travel agency and we will work on it together.” The resort will have 30 rooms and separate villas.

Bumthang has about 20 resorts and hotels for tourists, the second highest in the country followed by Thimphu with 19. There are approximately 53 resorts and hotels in various stages of construction in the country, according to the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

Source: Kuensel
By Phuntsho Choden

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