Bhutan has been named the fourth best country as a travel destination for the year 2000 following Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia.
Over the internet on www.entraveller.com last May travelers voted Bhutan fourth amongst the globe as the best country to visit for the Third Annual Readers Travel Awards.
The decision to nominate Bhutan was based on services, value for money and over all country satisfaction.
“This year’s surprise entry was undoubtedly Bhutan coming in from nowhere,” said Conde Nest publishing house that organized the award.
Conde Nest is one of the top three publishing houses in the world with their magazines selling globally. Its readership mostly comprises people from the wealthy and fashionable world.
Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk, Minister of Trade & Industry, said “Many including ourselves were surprised. It is revealing that through it we see and understand there are people in the world who value the pristine environment, clean air, societies which are committed towards balancing materials pursuit and spiritual well being and all other characteristics of Bhutan and the Bhutanese”.
“Tourism is rated amongst the fastest growing industries which have countries competing to have their share of the universal pie,” said the Managing Director of the department of tourism, Tshering Yonten.
Still considered to be in its infant stages, with little infrastructure and having a total of only about 7000 visitors every year, tourism in Bhutan has managed to make a global impact beating Australia, Italy, Thailand and the United States.
The preservation of the identity, people, culture , tradition and the environmental well-being of the nation has been recognized and appreciated by visitors coming every year, explained, Tshering Yonten.
A tourist who has been coming back annually for the last five years said, “We know that the decision to preserve was not made because Bhutan wanted to sell the country as a tourist destination. The genuine efforts of the King, people and the government to protect what has existed throughout generations was obviously done for the good of the kingdom and that is what is appreciated by all of us who come year after year”.
By Pelden Tshering