Dechen Dolkar  

Bhutan has picked up several prestigious international travel awards in the past two weeks, underscoring the country’s efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic to improve the overall tourism sector and guest experience.

On November 16, Bhutan was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award in the ‘Best Emerging Destination’ (international) category of Travel + Leisure India’s Best Awards 2022 in Delhi.

T+L India’s Best Awards 2022 felicitates the best in travel, hospitality and lifestyle, and the winners are chosen through an online voting platform, culminating in an evening gala that brings together the travel, hospitality, and lifestyle community during the awards ceremony.

Earlier this month, the Trans Bhutan Trail won a ‘Special Achievement Award’ at the Wanderlust event for the ‘Best Sustainability Initiative’, in addition to a ‘one to watch’ prize at the World Travel Mart awards ceremony in London.

The Trans Bhutan Trail has also been selected by the New York Times as one of the 52 places to go next year.

Recently, Travel Lemming, a US-based online travel guide read by more than 6 million travellers has also named Bhutan as the best place to travel to in Asia next year, as well as the World’s second  Best Place to Travel in 2023 on its annual list of the world’s 50 best travel destinations.

Department of Tourism Director General Dorji Dhradhul said, “While we are excited with these awards, we are also mindful that these recognitions have entrusted us with added responsibility to deliver an even better experience to our guests.”

“I am happy to share that Bhutan’s newly adopted Nation Brand – Bhutan Believe, offers inspiration for us to offer a truly world-class holiday for our guests, and help them to connect with us and reconnect with their inner-self and inspire wellness,’’ Dorji Dhradhul said.

He said that these are the country’s commitments guided by the time-tested golden tourism policy of High Value(s) and Low Volume, knowing that for Bhutan, tourism is beyond revenue and receipts.

“It’s instead more about sustainable and ethical sources of revenue and investment, and about enhancing and protecting our social, cultural, environmental, natural and economic dimensions,” he said.