Bhutan 'travel bubbles' tourism plan from March 2021

Email

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) 'travel bubble' proposal consists of 2 options that may be implemented from March 2021.

Punakha Dzong

As COVID-19 has put tourism on hold globally, many countries are slowly trying to bring back tourism through the establishment of ‘travel bubbles’ arrangements. Governments are working with selected countries to allow visitors to enter the country on certain conditions. 

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) has also put up a bubble tourism proposal to the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) of the Ministry of Health (MOH) that may happen in March 2021. The proposal consists of 2 options.  

TCB PROPOSED TRAVEL BUBBLE CONCEPT

Option 1 (with quarantine)

Option 2 (without quarantine)

  • 3 days quarantine in designated facilities
  • Travellers to show COVID-19 test certificate taken 72 hours before departure to Bhutan
  • COVID-19 test will be conducted during the 3 days quarantine
  • During the quarantine period, TCB is proposing wellness activities to be done within the quarantine facilities such as meditation and retreat. 
  • Upon completion of the COVID-19 test, travellers can either embark on:
  1. a special trekking programme such as Druk Path or Snowman’s Trek. The routes taken will have no contact with the locals
  2. 10-day retreat programme

Upon negative result, travellers will be put on

a quarantine mode itinerary,  

  • Travelling on same vehicle
  • Travelling with same tour guide
  • Dining in pre-identified restaurants
  • Visiting pre-identified places where there is no contact with public
 

Upon completion of 14 days in the country, another COVID-19 test will be conducted. If result is negativetravellers will be able to move around more freely with a normal itinerary subsequently.


The TCB official
said that the details have to be worked out with hotels, restaurants, tour operators and guides. It is hoping that with the travel bubble, it will help to bring back some tourism into the country while keeping public health safe. However, there has been some delay in the proposal evaluation due to the lockdown and TAG has been busy with the new COVID-19 cases. While the travel bubble tourism plan aims to be implemented from March 2021, there are still many uncertainties and actual implementation will hinge a lot on the global COVID-19 situation and availability of vaccines. 

The TCB is also currently working on a domestic tourism plan which can be promoted and implemented immediately. Some of the initiatives include setting up a new east to west trail for local tourists. TCB has also come up with a nationwide pilgrimage tourism product called Druk Neykor. The package recommends domestic and inbound tourists to visit the many temples, monasteries, sacred sites and monuments in Bhutan. Tourists and pilgrims will be given a pilgrimage stamp book with selected endorsed sites that they can visit to collect stamps for each visit. The pilgrimage stamp book keeps a permanent record of each unique visit.

All the above is still in the draft stage and yet to be approved by the Ministry of Health or the government. 

One of the biggest advantages that Bhutan has for its tourism reopening is in its current COVID-19 preparedness plan that has resulted in low COVID-19 cases as compared to most other tourist destinations.  



Related Posts

70-year-old sound healer promotes sound healing in Bhutan through...

The journey of a passionate sound healer infusing the kingdom with sound healing through the love for gongs.

Sep 10, 2021 12:51

First tourist arrived in Bhutan after more than a year

After more than one and a half years of hiatus caused by the pandemic, Bhutan received its first tourist on Aug 9.

Aug 10, 2021 11:13

What are the endangered birds of Bhutan?

Bhutan is home to 26 endangered birds. One of these birds even has its own festival.

Jul 19, 2021 10:35

Removing Bhutan’s import taxes on sanitary products is crucial...

What might elimination of the 30 percent import tax on sanitary supplies mean for Bhutanese citizens?

Jul 12, 2021 10:48

Singapore to train Bhutanese youths under new pact

The first MoU to strengthen the Technical & Vocational Education & Training (TVET) between MoLHR and ITE-Education...

Jul 01, 2021 10:52

Bhutan's Health Minister, Dechen Wangmo, elected as President for...

WHO's the decision-making body, World Health Assembly (WHA) met for its 74th session on May 24 including delegations...

May 25, 2021 13:38

Latest

News

70-year-old sound healer promotes sound healing in Bhutan through gong therapy

The journey of a passionate sound healer infusing the kingdom with sound healing through the love for gongs.

Sep 10, 2021 12:51

First tourist arrived in Bhutan after more than a year

After more than one and a half years of hiatus caused by the pandemic, Bhutan received its first tourist on Aug 9.

Aug 10, 2021 11:13

Features

Guru Rinpoche, the legendary saint who spread Buddhism in Bhutan

He was born from a lotus, fully enlightened. He went on to become the patron saint of Bhutan and established the Nyingma sect of Buddhism.

Sep 17, 2021 13:28

Atsara: the Bhutanese clowns who are not just clowns

On top of being clowns, they are also storytellers, spiritual teachers, and the master of ceremony. The bright red mask and giant phallus...

Aug 25, 2021 14:09

Business

Yathra weaving, the uniquely Bumthang culture

Unlike other places in Bhutan, the people of Bumthang don’t do agricultural work. Instead, they weave yathra products. Traditionally, every...

Sep 13, 2021 17:06

What are the entrepreneurship programmes and initiatives available in Bhutan?

The Bhutanese government has introduced all kinds of initiatives to promote entrepreneurship. Even school kids are groomed to innovate,...

Jun 22, 2021 16:37

Sports

Bhutan makes its debut appearance at the Paralympic Games

There is much to celebrate in the sporting history of Bhutan.

Aug 16, 2021 11:50

Bhutan competed in the Olympics through historic qualification

Since 1984, Bhutan has been competing in the Olympics via universality invitation, but not the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Jul 29, 2021 17:06

Travel

Travel to Bhutan: experience the beauty of Punakha

Punakha district is easily one of the tourists' favourite valleys.

Sep 07, 2021 15:44

How should I dress in Bhutan?

About to head to Bhutan for the adventure of your lifetime but don’t know what to pack? Fret not. Here’s a guide of useful clothing items to...

Sep 06, 2021 11:49

Lifestyle

The different types of prayer wheels in Bhutan

You'll find prayer wheels all over Bhutan. Inside each prayer wheel is a tightly rolled-up scroll of mantras. Spinning the wheel is...

Sep 02, 2021 11:22

Blessed Rainy Day: the festival where Bhutanese bath outdoors together

The holy bath is believed to wash away bad luck, bad karma, diseases, sins, or any other negative influences.

Aug 31, 2021 11:12

COVID-19

Bhutan is leading in the vaccination race

“Bhutan is now a beacon of hope for the region, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has upended lives and devastated families." - Dr Will...

Jul 28, 2021 12:01

Bhutan, with a leading vaccination rate in the region, commenced its second vaccination drive

Bhutan's second nationwide vaccination campaign will be held from July 20 - July 26, 2021.

Jul 21, 2021 11:05

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!