With many places that have enormous potential for tourism, Trashiyangtse is embarking on branding and developing itself as a tourism hotspot

Neten Dorji | Trashiyangtse

Trashiyangtse Dzongkhag is known for many sacred pilgrimage sites (nye) scattered across the dzongkhag.  Gomkora, Chortenkora, Omba, Pemaling, Dechenphodrang, Kharchendrag and Rigsumgoenpa to name just a few. It is also home to the national butterfly, Ludlow’s Bhutan Glory, and roosting ground for the endangered Black-necked crane in winter. 

Despite the potential for tourist attraction, the dzongkhag recorded less than 1.000 tourist arrivals by bed night in 2017, 1,031 in 2018 and about 1,411 in 2019, according to the Tourism Monitor Report 2019.   

Trashiyangtse Dzongdag, Thuji Tshering, said the dzongkhag was blessed with natural beauty, flora and fauna, pilgrimage sites, traditional arts and crafts, and unique culture.

The Dzongkhag Administration is working towards the development of ecotourism in the dzongkhag. But that would require development of amenities, from roads to guesthouses and hotels.

Thuji Tshering said that many tour operators brought their guests to Trashiyangtse only for daytime visits. “To benefit the community from tourism, we are looking for solutions as to how we can utilize our local guides, homestays, pony services and other facilities and services.”

The dzongkhag, he said, had a huge potential for Agri tourism. “Tourists can enjoy the village life and indulge in real time woodcraft like dapa making. Trashiyangtse can boast of being the producer of the first local chillies in the country and also its unique and popular chilli known as Urka Bangala. To  attract more tourists, we are planning to build one ecolodge in Boomdeling and currently are working on its architectural design.”

Senior Dzongrab, Lam Dorji said that Trashiyangtse had the potential for both international and local tourism development.

Dzongkhag’s economic development officer, Chimi Yuden, said that the dzongkhag administration had already developed a three-day trek route from Tobrang to the sacred Pemaling Nye. 

“We had planned to conduct a three-day food festival coinciding with Namgang Kora last year, but had to call it off due to Covid-19,” said Chimi Yuden. “And we also had to cancel the Zorig festival as well.” 

With the support of the dzongkhag administration, the people of Gangkhar in Yangtse Gewog developed the new mule trek from the village to Sheridzong which stands at the border between Trashiyangtse and Mongar. The dzongkhag administration spent Nu 0.15 million to develop this trek.

Dzongkhag’s Economic Development Officer, Chimi Yuden said, dzongkhag had plans to develop Ludlows Bhutan Glory trail from Zhapang to Rigsum Goenpa, and from Rigsum Goenpa to Dechenphodrang.

“With budget support of Nu 10.325 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) under UNDP, the dzongkhag is planning to develop the Ludlows expedition from Boomdeling to Khoma in Lhuentse,” said Chimi Yuden.   

Thuji Tshering said that to encourage homestays in the dzongkhag, the dzongkhag administration provided training to potential homestay owners.  “Our aim is to promote tourism and, at the same time, encourage people to stay back in their villages”.