Familiarization of CBST of Phobjikha for Bhutanese Tour Operators

A-local-guide-interpreting-1RSPN and the Community-based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) Group of Phobjikha organized a familiarization trip for Bhutanese tour operators to experience the CBST services and facilities established through the CBST project in Phobjikha from 16th to 18th February, 2014.

Apart from familiarizing CBST, another objective of the program was to encourage the participants to promote CBST as a niche tourism destination. The visitors can experience an authentic Bhutanese community life apart from contributing to the environmental conservation of Black-necked Crane habitat and sustainable livelihoods.

The familiarization tour was attended by 27 participants, who registered through the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO) that serves as one of the steering committee members of the CBST project. The participants comprised representatives from 14 travel agencies, Tourism Council of Bhutan, ABTO and 10 tour guides. While several CBST activities and services were available for them, they experienced a typical sample of a CBST program of 2 days and 2 nights that gave them the opportunity to experience lifestyle of communities in Gangtey and Phobji Gewogs.

The participants stayed in homestays and took part in local farm activities, simple craft making, culture program, hiking and biking with a picnic lunch.

The project is supported by JICA and JEEF.

Group photograph of participants

A participant with the host family

Bedroom in the homestay

Introduction session with the host family.
A participant tries on bamboo basket making
A picnic lunch hosted by homestay hosts

Reported by Tshering Choki, RSPN