India and Bhutan: A vision for shared prosperity

The dynamic relationship between India and Bhutan has long been characterised by mutual respect, cultural affinity, and strategic cooperation. Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan, HE Dasho Tshering Tobgay shares a vision to strengthen tourism ties between the two countries.

Tripti Jain

In recent years, both nations have recognised the potential of tourism as a catalyst for economic growth and cultural exchange. Hon’ble Prime Minister’s remarks indicate at the commitment to fostering cross-border partnerships that not only promote economic prosperity but also enhance the well-being of citizens on both sides.

Fostering bilateral relations

Prime Minister Tobgay reaffirmed the longstanding bonds between India and Bhutan, emphasising the importance of nurturing these ties through tourism. He shares, “India is our immediate neighbour, and we want to be your host. This sentiment reflects Bhutan’s eagerness to welcome Indian tourists with open arms, leveraging tourism as a bridge to deepen bilateral cooperation and understanding.”

Prioritising national happiness

Central to Bhutan’s tourism ethos is the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), a holistic development paradigm that prioritises well-being over mere economic growth. Prime Minister Tobgay enlightens us and shares, “The overarching intent of Bhutan’s Tourism policy is to enhance happiness and well-being of tourists throughout their journey. By integrating GNH principles into its tourism strategy, Bhutan seeks to offer visitors a transformative experience that transcends material wealth.”

Promoting cultural exchange

Bhutan’s rich cultural heritage, characterised by vibrant traditions and breath-taking landscapes, serves as a magnet for tourists seeking authentic experiences. Prime Minister Tobgay highlights the role of tourism in preserving and sharing Bhutan’s unique culture with the world, and shares, “We are custodians of a unique culture that we can share with the world. Through cultural exchanges and immersive encounters, tourists have the opportunity to delve into Bhutan’s cultural tapestry, fostering mutual appreciation and respect.”

Facilitating ease of travel

Recognising the importance of seamless travel facilitation, Bhutan has streamlined visa requirements for Indian tourists. Prime Minister Tobgay speaks on the same lines and explains, “For Indian tourists visiting Bhutan, there is no visa requirement, and only a travel permit is required. This simplification not only enhances the ease of travel but also reinforces the warm hospitality extended to Indian visitors, laying the foundation for enduring tourism partnerships.”

Embracing sustainable development

As custodians of pristine natural landscapes, Bhutan is committed to sustainable tourism practices that preserve its ecological treasures for future generations. Prime Minister Tobgay emphasises this imperative and shares, “We need to enhance access by air to Bhutan, and that is my responsibility. By balancing economic development with environmental stewardship, Bhutan aims to create a blueprint for sustainable tourism that harmonises with its natural splendour.”

The vision outlined by Prime Minister Tobgay highlights Bhutan’s unwavering commitment to fostering robust tourism ties with India. As both nations embark on this journey of collaboration and partnership, the words of Prime Minister Tobgay resonate profoundly. They plan to target 150,000 Indian tourists in the coming years. Through shared prosperity and mutual respect, India and Bhutan stand poised to unlock the transformative potential of tourism, enriching lives and forging lasting bonds of friendship.


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