Happiness defined through 4,290 photographs

The Council encourages submissions from foreign participants to diversify the meaning of happiness

TCB: With an entry of about 70 photographs a day, the Bhutan Photo Campaign, Happiness is… that the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) launched in July received 4,290 entries of yesterday.

The top trending photograph on the campaign website happinessisaplace.com received 864 likes and shares as of yesterday followed by 551 likes and shares by the second photograph.

The Bhutan photo campaign was launched on July 30 to promote and strengthen brand Bhutan.

The photographs with the highest likes and shares will win trips to Bangkok, Nepal or holiday packages in the country besides cash prizes. To participate in the campaign, people should upload a photograph to define happiness with a descriptive tagline. The winners with the highest likes and shares get to choose the prizes followed by winners with the next highest likes and share.

The photographs are uploaded on the website and can be shared on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Five best creative taglines would also receive the prizes. The campaign is open to international participants besides Bhutanese and photographs can be taken in Bhutan and beyond.

The photographs would be reviewed twice this year – on November 11 and December 17 during which the prizes would be awarded.

TCB’s spokesperson Damcho Rinzin said the campaign is a cost effective way of promoting Bhutan at a time where social media serves as an important medium to reach potential visitors. “Its picking well but the challenge is in getting international participants to submit photographs instead of just browsing through the website,” he said.

TCB officials said that about 6,000 users from 101 countries have to date accessed the website happinessisaplace.com where the entries are submitted. About six pages are viewed per session with each one of them spending about six minutes.

Among the list of countries, Bhutan tops the list followed by India, US, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Australia, Netherlands and Taiwan.

In a bid to promote the campaign using all forms of medium and various channels, TCB officials said the campaign has also featured in Nat Geo Traveller and Financial Times.

The competition is also open to organisations besides individuals by registering on the campaign website and submitting photographs with taglines under the categories in Bhutan and outside Bhutan. Once the photographs are uploaded on the campaign website, it can be shared on social media.

TCB officials said individuals or organisations participating in the campaign can promote themselves or their companies through the campaign’s website or photograph options such as creating a profile with contact details and including name, email or website through the photographs submitted.

TCB had tied up with about 27 sponsors mostly comprising tour operators and hoteliers besides the two airlines that are sponsoring the prizes. The sponsors are classified as gold and silver partners depending on the companies’ contribution to the campaign.

TCB officials said the campaign is dedicated to His Majesty The Fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck who introduced the philosophy of Gross National Happiness.

Kinga Dema

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