Bhutan to Host High-Level Tourism Policy Training Programme

June 2012

The Kingdom of Bhutan, one of the Asia Pacific Region´s most up-and-coming destinations, will host the 6th UNWTO Asia/Pacific Executive Training Programme on Tourism Policy and Strategy in Paro next month. With its select and high calibre of speakers and participants, this year´s event promises to attract the participation of high-level officials from the region.  

This annual training programme provides a forum for tourism industry executives to share knowledge and experiences in successful policy making and implementation. With the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea, UNWTO has designed the training programme to assist Member States in the region to improve governance and increase the effectiveness of their tourism industry management.

This year, high-level Ministry representatives, CEOs and officials from 22 countries will give country-specific presentations, demonstrating south-south cooperation in the region. Keynote presentations will be given by UNWTO’s seasoned consultant Dr. Paul Rogers, Director of of Asia Pacific Projects Inc.  Mr. Ludwig Rieder, and Dean of the School of Tourism Management at Yat-sen University, China, Professor Bao Jigang.

¨This is the most high-level participation we have ever had at this training programme,¨ said Mr. Xu Jing, UNWTO Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific. ¨It is a sure sign that government representatives at the highest level are acknowledging the importance of the tourism sector. There is an understanding that tourism can bring not only economic benefits but also fight poverty, promote sustainability and bring employment to many people. However, good and strategic planning is the key to achieve the perceived objectives, which is the theme of this year’s programme. ¨

Through experience sharing, networking and country presentations, best practice models can be developed which will pave the way for consistent, effective and good tourism governance in the Asia Pacific Region for the future.

Bhutan, well known around the world for its focus on the Gross National Happiness Agenda rather than Gross Domestic Product as a sign of healthy national development, seeks to develop a tourism industry which promotes the conservation of the environment and cultures, and one which contributes to the happiness of its people. 

Due to its unique approach to measuring the impact of tourism on a destination, Bhutan looks set to become the latest home of a UNWTO Sustainable Tourism Observatory, the first three of which are in China. These observatories gather data about the environmental, social and economic impacts of tourism in a region and assist policy-makers to ensure tourism growth is managed in a responsible and sustainable manner.