ANI Photo | “This is where you can help…”: Bhutan PM Tobgay invites Indian tourists to rebuild COVID-hit economy

Bhutan Prime Minister Dosha Tshering Tobgay invited Indian tourists to visit Bhutan, experience the country’s unique culture, and help rebuild the economy that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He praised the culture and environment as some of the strongest pillars of Bhutan, adding that these facets are enjoyed by the tourists.
Addressing the event, PM Tobgay said, “While we are making tremendous strides in social progress, cultural preservation, environmental protection and good governance, in the area of economic progress, we have been extra cautious…The Covid pandemic has hit our economy hard. And to come a full circle, this is where you can help.”
“Through your tourists, you will be able to spread economic growth throughout the people and throughout the country. This is why I’m so excited about meeting you and inviting tourists from all over India,” he added.
Elaborating on the Bhutanese economy, he said that social progress, preservation of culture, environmental protection, economic prosperity and good governance are the main pillars of the Gross National Happiness model of Bhutan.
“We need social progress, and we have made good progress there through free education and free healthcare. The preservation of culture obviously is extremely important to our discussions today because we in Bhutan are the custodians of a unique culture. A culture that we can share with the world, that we can share with your tourists,” Tobgay said.
He added, “Preservation of the environment is important because we are a carbon-negative country, a good 72 per cent of our country is under forest cover. This is what tourists love to see, and enjoy. Good governance, the fourth pillar of Gross National Happiness is relevant. Economic prosperity, Our people can’t be happy if our economy is not prosperous.”
PM Tobgay said that he will work towards enhancing air access to Bhutan, making the online visa system user-friendly and India-friendly and also bringing Foreign Direct Investment in the country’s tourism sector.
“From Bhutan, we have thousands of pilgrims visiting India. Thousands of patients are seeking treatment. We would like to invite you to Bhutan and through you, your clients, your tourists to visit Bhutan, to experience Gross National Happiness,” the Bhutan PM further said.
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay is in India on an official visit, which is his first overseas visit after assuming office in February 2024.
Earlier on Thursday, PM Tobgay met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at latter’s official residence, 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, in the national capital.
On behalf of Bhutan King, he also invited PM Modi to visit Bhutan. The Ministry of External Affairs informed that the invitation has been accepted and the details of the visit will be shared accordingly.

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