Review Workshop On Tourism Attractions (Handicraft and Culture Section)
One of the key activities of the SHINE project is to identify attractive tourism resources in the target districts, design tour package products, mitigate challenges, and promote alternative destinations. The project team has gathered and documented a list of potential tourism attractions of the target districts with brief descriptions for each attraction in categories under handicraft and culture, nature and wildlife, crops, and cuisines, etc. The team has also taken stock of the existing tourism infrastructure while also developing potential sample tour packages. In order to avoid information errors and gaps, and prioritize the products for the attractions book, SHINE invited a number of experts in each category to a series of review workshops. The experts are expected to validate the product information, prioritize, look at practicality for business, and provide overall guidance on the structuring and documenting of the attractions book.
The first review workshop, focused on the Handicraft and Culture Section, was held on 22 February 2022. It was facilitated by Mr. Tenzin Rigden, Technical Expert of the SHINE team. From the expert panel members, Lam Kezang, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Agency for the Promotion of Indigenous Crafts (APIC), one of Bhutan’s experts in culture and history, was elected as Chairperson. Mr. Ugyen Tenzin, Chief Editor/writer, and Mr. Rinchen Dorji, the tourism attractions expert of Mongar Dzongkhag were appointed as rapporteurs. Dasho Tashi Phuntshok, Dzongkha language and culture expert, Ugyen Pelden, one of Bhutan’s foremost historians, Rinzin Wangchuk, editor of Bhutan’s national newspaper Kuensel, and Lobzang Dorji, a graphic design specialist comprised other members of the expert panel. Mr. Chorten Dorji, CEO of HAB represented the project.
The draft edition was presented to the participants. Through the extensive discussions, a number of missing attractions with high tourism potential were identified to be added. The panel also found some inaccuracies and rectified them. Overall, the experts expressed their satisfaction with the work. A special note was made about the SHINE for having ventured on a project that would not only promote tourism in the seven identified districts but serve as a reservoir of the knowledge, which had never been done before. They underlined that the tourism attractions of eastern Bhutan could trigger post-Covid tourism development in the selected regions and bring to the notice of policymakers in these regions.