In a move to boost the outflow of tourists, Bhutan has approved two new tourist entry points in Gelegphu and Samdrup Jongkhar of the country as part of the Economic Contingency Plan (ECP).

Currently, Phuentsogling and Paro are the only two tourist entry points in the country.

According to the ECP, the Tourism Council of Bhutan will be setting up the new entry points with integrated checkpost at Gelegphu and Samdrup Jongkhar.

The move to set up the new entry points is in preparation for the re-opening of the sector once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and also to take advantage of the favourable weather conditions in the southern foothills during winter.

As per Bhutan Tourism monitor report 2018, around 35 per cent of the international tourists who visited Bhutan in 2018 cited Bhutan’s favourable weather condition as the primary reason for their visit.

Also most tourists visited western and central parts of the country.

Meanwhile, as part of programmes to prepare the sector for re-opening post COVID-19 the government of the Himalayan kingdom has also drafted an interim Standard Operating Protocol for  to be implemented until the full Guideline for Management of Regional Tourism is rolled-out as part of the National Tourism Policy.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: