Interview with Jordan Tourism Board’s Managing Director
I met Jordan Tourism Board’s managing director Nayef Al-Fayez in April 2011, during the “Restoring the Journey” trip to Jordan and Egypt. (May 18, 2011, By Leslie Koch
What is the goal behind your blogger outreach campaign?
Bloggers differ from traditional media outlets because they give a more realistic, firsthand account of the country they are visiting, especially in times of special circumstance. What is more, their coverage is more immediate and can sometimes be more influential. People can relate to the person writing the blog and can depend on their honest, unbiased perspective. A blogger’s integrity is closely tied to their ability to provide a real, honest and unselfish view of their experience; it is what makes people relate. We needed people whose opinions are highly-regarded and genuine to make sure people trusted that Jordan was indeed safe, and not only that, but that it had so much to offer, any time of the year.
What is also great about bloggers is their continued interaction with their audience and their sincere recommendation of a country or experience if they truly believe in it. It’s like getting a recommendation from a friend you trust, as opposed to reading a recommendation in a mass-produced magazine. Continue reading The Value of Blogger Press Trips
What should Bhutan not learn from the United States?
|Lyonchhen Jigmi Y Thinley with Senator McCain at a banquet on Wednesday
6 December, 2008 – Three U.S. senators, including the Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain, were all praise for Bhutan and the Bhutanese leadership but cautioned against environmental degradation, political promises, and rapid commercialism.
“We didn’t look after our environment as well as we should have and now suffer problems like the polluted Colorado river,” said Senator McCain of Arizona, pointing out that the Thimphu river looked pure in comparison. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut added that the melting of glaciers in Bhutan could have severe consequences.
Senator Graham of South Carolina pointed out that, in a democracy, politicians make promises that they can’t afford. “Back in the United States and other democracies, there have been a lot of programmes created that future generations have to pay for it,” he said. “So I would caution the people of Bhutan to make sure that you understand that you have a responsibility to make that your government doesn’t go beyond their means and make your children pay for it. That’s something we’re learning in America.” Continue reading The U.S. congressional visit
COMMENTARY:29thNov.,2008- GNH is the expression of a system of values that defined the Bhutanese system over :enturies. Today, Bhutan articulates the need to preserve such traditions and values on the premise that what we have is good and should be preserved through change.
Having opened up to so-called planned development, Bhutan is aware that rapid change will threaten all this, so it is seeking the clarity and credibility of a GNH society and a GNH economy by trying to give the concept intellectual depth and academic construction.
To say that GNH is doing fine in Bhutan would be wrong. The truth is that Bhutan is changing rapidly and society is not responding fast enough.
Even many decision makers today believe that GNH is just a phrase to attract wealthy foreign tourists. The skepticism is obvious from the fact that very few decision makers took interest in the fourth international GNH conference in Thimphu this week.
The young professionals, who did attend the conference, need to begin a new wave of discourse to intellectualise GNH. Decision makers must be forced to confront GNH so that it becomes a basis for policy decisions. Continue reading Gross National Happiness (GNH):Heavier than a mountain
Source: Bhutan Observer
By Rabi C. Dahal
19 September 2008
Small handicraft outlets in the country are crying foul over exorbitant commissions paid by bigger competitors as incentives to tour guides. The smaller retailers say they are unable to pay as much to guides and so are unable to sustain their businesses. Hoteliers, meanwhile, complain about tour operators and guides demanding luxurious rooms and food when they are with the tourists. This is said to be most rampant in Paro and Bumthang.
A source in the tourism industry said almost all the handicraft outlets in the country paid commissions to guides, drivers and tour operators and it has now become a custom. About five handicraft shops in the capital are said to be paying (as commission) as much as 20 percent of the value of items bought. Most others paid 15 percent. He said that last year a guide earned Nu. 300,000 as sales incentive from a handicraft shop for a single purchase. Continue reading The Hospitality Commission
Top 10 Places to Go in 2008
The destinations that rank on our list include renascent cities like New Orleans and emerging countries like Bhutan that are fast becoming the world’s next travel hot spots. Get there now, before the crowds do.
By Shermans Travel Editorial Staff
Choosing the world’s next big travel destinations is never an easy feat, especially when there’s seemingly so little left of the globe to discover. But when our editors got into a room to hash out our top picks for 2008, we realized that we could have done a Top 13 this year, as all eyes will be on Beijing (when it hosts the Summer Olympic Games), and there’s never been a better time to visit Quebec City (which celebrates its 400th birthday in 2008) or Liverpool (the year’s European Capital of Culture). Here’s the remainder of our list.
Cradled by the majestic Himalayas in a remote corner of Southern Asia, the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” has long held steadfast to its rich culture and Buddhist heritage. Though an isolated locale and high tourist entry tariffs (of up to $200 per person per night) keep crowds at bay, these factors have also permitted this last Shangri-La to keep its traditions intact. If the lush valleys and snowcapped mountains, ancient temples and monasteries, and expansive markets full of cheerful locals haven’t lured you to Bhutan yet, reconsider in 2008, when the 101st anniversary of the country’s monarchy will be commemorated by a yearlong celebration. Continue reading BHUTAN: Ranked Among Top 10 Travel Destinations in 2008