Taleb Rifai applauds Bhutan’s sustainability and quality tourism model
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, has expressed his support for the long-term tourism policy of Bhutan, with its focus on sustainability and quality, on an official visit to the country where he met with acting Prime Minister, Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba
The Royal Government of Bhutan considers tourism “a window of opportunity for the future of Bhutan” said Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba, during his meeting with Mr. Rifai. Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba pointed to tourism’s contribution to the economic security and Gross National Happiness – Bhutan’s measure of wellbeing – of the Bhutanese people. Continue reading UNWTO applauds Gross National Happiness country
Reclusive kingdom located between India and China has asked for advice on preserving masterworks from the 16th-19th centuries
Courtesy: The Observer (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/)
A 17th-century paintings of the Lama Lhakhang in Trongsa dzong.
British art experts have been given unique access to the hidden heritage of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, including spectacular 16th- to 19th- century wall paintings from its 2,000 temples and monasteries.
Specialists from the Courtauld Institute have been amazed by the exquisite quality and technical sophistication of paintings that were largely unknown and unrecorded in the west. Professor David Park, from the Courtauld, said: “The wall paintings are absolutely stunning. Some of the earlier examples, especially, are extraordinary.” Continue reading Bhutan’s endangered temple art treasures
30 Dec. 2010: Wondering what the new year will bring? Here’s the word on the ground from our Asia-Pacific travel editor, Shawn.
Budget airlines are here to stay. Frustration with budget airlines hit a new high (or low) in 2010 – but that’s not stopping people from travelling with them. More routes AND airlines are opening up in 2011: Malaysia Airlines is expanding its budget Firefly routes and Thai Airways is planning on launching its budget Thai Tiger carrier.
Tired of ‘independent’ travel? What about a tour…an awesome one? It’s getting harder and harder to get off the beaten path. In a funny twist, 2011 will be the year that the tours beat out the independent traveller to far-flung destinations. Looking for a destination that gives you some bragging rights? Try North Korea – possible to visit as part of an organised group. It’s the only way to get a glimpse behind one of the world’s most fascinatingly closed countries. Communism doesn’t appeal? Check out Bhutan. It’s a Himalayan Shangri-la, where snow-capped mountains and primeval forest are home to monasteries, dzongs and a uniquely Buddhist culture. Tourism to Bhutan is set to double by 2012 as word is getting out, so get in as soon as you can. Continue reading Lonely Planet’s travel picks for 2011
31st Dec. 2010: In the early 1970s, the tiny nation of Bhutan stopped focusing on gross domestic product, or GDP. This wasn’t because the country was trying to hide its economic progress. It was because King Jigme Singye Wangchuck thought GDP measured the wrong things.
“Why are we so obsessed and focused with gross domestic product?” he asked a journalist inquiring about the country’s economy. “Why don’t we care more about gross national happiness?”
And so began the birth of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness index, or GNH. Continue reading Measuring what counts. The insignificance of GDP & the birth of GNH
Peter Steele at his home in Hillcrest. Steele and his family returned to the Kingdom of Bhutan this year to recreate a journey they made 43 years ago.
…….The last time Judith Steele was in Bhutan, a raven stole her soother.
Forty-three years later, the Yukon day-home operator returned to the country to have tea with Princess Ashi-Tashi.
The princess is 86 years old now, but remembers Judith’s father Peter Steele bringing his young family to her country to study goitre in 1967.
At the time, Peter was a doctor in London, and his boss treated the third king of Bhutan, who had a heart condition.
To repay him, the king invited both men to his sequestered country. Continue reading Back to Bhutan after 43 years
Bhutan Prime Minister Explains Metric of ‘Gross National Happiness’ : Forget gross national product. The prime minister of Bhutan says a nation should measure itself by its gross national happiness.
Jigmi Y. Thinley spoke about his country’s unusual metric to about 450 people in Low Rotunda during Columbia’s World Leaders Forum on Sept. 15. His was the first in the 2010-2011 series of forums and talks by world leaders at Columbia, a year-round event series that includes heads of state and global thought leaders from a variety of countries and fields.
Jigmi Y. Thinley, prime minister of Bhutan, spoke about gross national happiness at Columbia’s World Leaders Forum.
Image credit: Eileen Barroso/Columbia University
Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom of about 700,000 nestled in the Himalayas between China and India, has adopted an unusual and complex system of measuring gross national happiness as an alternative to GNP, the common economic indicator that measures the sum of all goods and services produced by a nation.
Thinley said GNH is based on the belief that the purpose of development and the role of the state is to create a place where people can pursue what they aspire to most in life: happiness.
“It is a holistic development paradigm to make human society resilient,” said Thinley. “We are the only country so far that promotes happiness through deliberate public policy and action.” Continue reading Why ‘Gross National Happiness’ (GNH)? Forget GDP
Bhutan’s much lauded tourism policy, is not anymore “high value, low volume.” It’s now “high value, low impact.”
The “low impact” on culture and environment as the tourism council of Bhutan (TCB) calls,” has come at a time when the government has committed to increase the “volume” of tourists visiting Bhutan. In the next two years, it aims to bring in 100,000 tourists, which is about one-sixth of the country’s population.
For more than three decades, the policy of “low volume” has regulated tourist arrivals in the country. With that, it minimised the “impact” and brought in a “manageable” number that its limited infrastructure could support. Bhutan otherwise has no restriction on the number of tourists visiting. Continue reading Low volume is now low impact-But value stays high