Objectives

The action focuses on mitigating the imbalance between the touristic hotspots and the marginalized rural districts, by supporting the producers of agro-products and handicrafts as well as homestays to make use of their unique environmental, cultural and ethnic properties and stories to create added values for the visitors, who seek for authentic experiences in Bhutan. The action provides the beneficiary groups with technical assistance and support for innovation – better design, higher quality, Appropriate Technology, energy efficiency, eco-friendly materials, re-discovery of traditional knowledge and skills, waste management, etc. Tourism products and services will be diversified and quality will improve. The action also facilitates direct supply of food products and souvenirs from the east to the west, in order to increase and sustain the resilience of the tourism industry.

The project develops inclusive and sustainable tourism models especially in the marginalized eastern/southern part of Bhutan, by engaging native self-help groups in the supply chain of goods and services for the growing tourism industry in the west and by showcasing region-/community-based ecological tourism models. Thereby the action contributes to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy, and to generating income opportunities for the rural communities and MSMEs.

EXPECTED RESULTS

  1. Rural tourism products are diversified and visitors to the rural areas of Bhutan increased;
  2. Uptake of local food products and indigenous handicrafts in the tourism sector increased;
  3. Production volume and quality of food and handicrafts improved through efficient resource management, better processing and appropriate technology (AT) solutions;
  4. 20 new products developed that meet the market demand (handicraft, food products, homestays, tourism packages);
  5. A model village established as a learning center for SCP practices;
  6. Replication of best practices through finance programs and policy dialogue, ensuring sustainability of the results.
Dr. Robert Wimmer, Project Leader

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