Daily Professional Fee Proposed For Tour Guides To Boost Tourism In Bhutan

Such an initiative is also thought to help boost the image of the profession in Bhutan and retain senior tour guides.

Group photo of DrukAsia's tour guides with tourists. (Source: DrukAsia)

 

By Sonam Choden BBS

The Guide Association of Bhutan (GAB) proposed a daily professional fee of Nu 1,000 to Nu 1,500 for tour guides to the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) some two years ago. The Association for Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO) made the same request just recently.

If the proposal comes through, the tour guides in Bhutan will be paid a daily professional fee in addition to the daily subsistence allowance (DSA) while on duty.

 

Source: DrukAsia

 

Currently, tour or travel agents pay guides a DSA of Nu 1,000 to Nu 1,500, which is barely enough to make a decent living, especially when the visitors they attend to stay in 4 or 5 star hotels.

How the daily professional fee can help tour guides in Bhutan

“I think this is going to benefit us a lot,” Thinley Namgay, a tour guide said.

“We are traveling almost every day during the peak season and sometimes we have to stay in 5 star hotels and we have to bear all the expenses ourselves.”

Sometimes, they resort to sleeping in cars, which attracts complaints from the tourists. This arrangement is even more challenging for female tour guides.

 

Source: DrukAsia

 

“If the proposal is accepted, the guides can at least have a decent room and simple meal and they will not have to sleep in the bus or car,” Garab Dorji, the Chairperson of the Guide Association of Bhutan said.

“Because of this issue, guides are not able to work professionally at the moment,” Garab Dorji added.

The daily professional fee can potentially enhance tourists’ experience with better services

“If they provide us with such fees, I am sure we will be able to perform much better,” Karma Tshering, another tour guide added.

 

Source: DrukAsia

 

Such an initiative is also thought to help boost the image of the profession in Bhutan and retain senior tour guides.

Currently, there about 4,000 tour guides in the country. This measure will ultimately help to boost the tourism sector in Bhutan.

 

This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

 


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