Cleaning house

The exit-survey conducted by the Tourism Council last year has revealed that road conditions topped complaints from tourists.

This was followed by waste management, food quality, stray dogs, and rest rooms.

As we promote ourselves as a high-end destination, it is important that we listen and address these issues. We want more high-end tourists to re-visit us or to recommend us to other potential visitors.

It is also equally important that these issues be addressed for ourselves as well.

While much progress has been made and continues to be made in building better quality roads in the country, there is still much room for improvement.

In the capital city itself, we still see roads riddled with potholes. Some roads resemble intricate jigsaw puzzles with the amount of patchwork repairs that have taken place.

Ensuring quality work has been a challenge for some of our local contractors and purchasing agencies.

But change is occurring. The East-West highway, which is frequently used to transport tourists, is being widened and the Prime Minister himself is keeping an eye on the quality of the road. The highway will be a test to see if we can get it right with higher standards and proper oversight.

If it is a success then we should see the number of both tourists and local complaints decrease.

When it comes to the other complaints, there are measures we can implement now as they do not need the massive amount of resources building roads requires.

Efforts have been and continue to be made to change waste disposal behaviours. But looking at the amount of waste still ending up in our open environment, it seems there is a need to redouble these efforts.

Since we’re talking about tourism here, concerned agencies can look to immediately introduce measures that would discourage littering in areas frequented by tourists. Getting tour companies and local communities involved by providing incentives for good practices and enforcing penalties for littering is one possible solution.

We are aware that the standard of our public restrooms are deplorable. Efforts are being made by a group of volunteers to change this. What is now needed is additional support from the tourism sector to aid the group in finding sponsors and other resources when needed.

Another major complaint is on our stray dogs that keep some of our visitors up all night. Several sterilisation campaigns have been undertaken. It is estimated that in about a half decade or so the stray dog problem will be mitigated after those sterilised die.

But we can still do something now. We can stop importing so many foreign dogs and choose to adopt a stray. Not only would it reduce the number of strays in the streets, it would also show that we care for our own.

1 reply
  1. MIGNIEN
    MIGNIEN says:

    Following the article tittled “INT’L TOURIST BEOMAN BAD ROADS ” of MAY 30 , under this is my opinion over gap in tourist welcome which is no yet implemented , despite declarations of authorities :

    Over 2015 ,an international tourists report has exposed mainy complaints . But , as my relatives recently came back from Bhutan , no implementation has been made compared to myself last experiment of a journey last year in the country :

    It is a serious warning to the GVT . When will the gvt take account of those problems . it is a question of reactivity.

    I quote brievly complaints of tourists which are rightful . But need to be repeated again and again . And I have added the ones transmitted by TCB Guides themselves to me through anonymous testimonies I have checked . .

    1/ Improper waste management
    It’s a problem of education and behavior of Buthaneses themselves.

    2/ Food quality and hygienic respect over cooking and kitchen room is not well up ; and staffs are not very clean on their hands and clothes ; and cutlery and aprons too . I quote three stars hotel and some upper restaurants.
    And sometimes staff is not very kind and throughfull toward the clientele.

    A beginning of answer : hoteliers want not hire Chef because the season is too short; on the same hand , they want not to hire qualified staff .

    3/ Discomfort in coach due to poor road conditions even on national highways.

    The gvt should check more attentively the state of most important roads. it is a problem of bad work during building and maintenance of roads . I think the best solution is to fine very hard the constructors who are failing .

    An improvement as soon as possible is to set up .

    4/ Many stray dogs are in the streets : they are dirty and sometimes agressive . Their barks and howlings more during all the night are hardly not supported by tourists. Doctors tell us that they have diseases transmissible to human beings ( rabies ) ; so Guides ask tourists to avoid strokingd on dogs.

    This point is difficult to solve because of Bhuddists precepts : it is forbidden to kill dogs in excess ; exept in case of pandemic problem due to dogs but it coast to much ; the only possibility is sterilization
    campains .

    5/ Growth of Chineses tourists :
    in China a medium class is growing who has money to spend . This is a good new for country finance .

    6/ Light drop of touristic revenues from 71.04 M USD in 2015 ? Although 73.2 M USD in 2014 .
    A reaction is urgent in front of thhis drop !!

    7/ Eastern districts saw less tourists due to bad maintenance of roads .

    According guide testimonies there is few qualified hotel because of difficulties to hire qualified staff due to a less number of advanced peoples than in the western districts . And less typical building .

    Conclusion :

    Bhutan must pay attention to that drop ; improvement of points quoted above must be set up very quickly . The paying dollar tourists make money to the kingdom better than regional ones .

    Thanks to tourist Policy , benefits can improve business for shopkeepers , restaurants and hotels ; and can help improve infrastrutures of the Kingdom ,

    So , Bhutanese must improve the welcome of occidental tourists . More occidental tourists who have a high currency money is important .
    “high level , low impact”

    A vigorous Policy of improvement is to be start up .

    And not mass regional tourists .

    Peace and work !!! Go on bhutaneses Be proud of your country !

    jcmignien@orange.fr

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