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Bhutan PM urges Indian industries to invest in country’s tourism sector

Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay has urged the Indian industry to explore business opportunities in the tourism sector in the neighbouring nation which has deep relations with India.

Tobgay, who was on a five-day visit to India, made the remarks at ‘India-Bhutan Tourism: Expanding Horizons’ dialogue organised by industry body FICCI in the national capital.

“I always wanted to meet … captains of the industry and invite you to Bhutan. We have been blessed with excellent relation with India. India is our immediate neighbour. We want more and more Indians visiting Bhutan,” he said addressing the gathering which included representatives of various sectors including travel and hospitality.

On the opportunities in Bhutan, Tobgay said his country provides immense opportunities in the travel and tourism industry. The investors can come and set up hotels, restaurants, wellness centres in Bhutan of which 72 per cent is under forest cover.

Travel for Indians is very easy as a person has to only seek a permit to enter the country at a charge of around INR 1,200 which is lower compared to tourists coming from other parts of the world, the PM said adding he is expecting around 1.50 lakh Indian tourists to Bhutan in 2024, more than double of 72,659 in 2023.

The prime minister mentioned the railway service between India and Bhutan which offers a cost-effective means of transport. The train facility will connect Kokrajhar in Assam to Gelephu in Sarpang, Bhutan.

He also said in the coming years the number of airlines to Bhutan is expected to increase as part of the agreement between the two nations.

Sharing the experience of his India visit, Tobgay said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is like his “older brother”. Being in New Delhi with him is like being among friends, the visit has been very emotional, he added.

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