Bhutan taps in the power of local festivals to drive tourism, economic growth


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Bhutan‘s regional mushroom festivals have reignited community spirits as in addition to being exciting events are also powerful drivers for tourism and the development of the economies of the communities they represent and have grown popular over the years, Bhutan Live reported.

The Buddha Dordenma statue overlooks the town of Thimphu, Bhutan. Bhutan taps in the power of local festivals to drive tourism, economic growth (REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton/File Photo)
The Buddha Dordenma statue overlooks the town of Thimphu, Bhutan. Bhutan taps in the power of local festivals to drive tourism, economic growth (REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton/File Photo)

Next month’s Bhutan Royal Highland Festival will be a great example of this occurrence.

This event draws thousands of visitors, both locals and tourists and offers residents of Laya and other highland areas a vibrant platform to share their diverse cultures and customs. It’s not just a party; it’s also a place to make important personal and professional connections.

A crucial issue has emerged, though, and that is the requirement for greater community ownership of these festivals. This very ownership has the power to give these incidents new life and make them into enduring pillars of prosperity.

Local festival organizers, like many other industries, have been struggling with a lack of funding, which poses a serious obstacle to the continuation of these cherished events. Although the financial situation is a challenge, we should be motivated to overcome it by the Bhutanese values of community and national service, Bhutan Live reported.

Local festivals offer a rare chance to boost community vitality, strengthen a sense of belonging and encourage participatory growth. Communities must take the initiative and act as custodians of their cultural legacy if they are to fully realize the promise of these festivals.

Making a long-term plan for financing and managing these festivals is one method to ensure community ownership. Festivities may thrive year after year by overcoming financial obstacles with community-driven fundraising projects. Involving community people in these events’ design and implementation not only gives them more influence, but it also strengthens their bond with the festivals’ significance, Bhutan Live reported.

Education is a key component of community ownership. These celebrations should double as teaching opportunities for the next generation, imparting knowledge about Bhutanese culture, traditions, and core values.

Additionally, the importance of Bhutan’s regional celebrations goes beyond national boundaries, and they are crucial in fostering bilateral ties with neighbours like India. These events promote international understanding and goodwill by acting as conduits for cultural exchange. Long-lasting friendships are created when visitors from India and other nations immerse themselves in Bhutanese customs and hospitality, strengthening diplomatic connections.

These festivals’ intrinsic capacity for cultural diplomacy opens the door to further collaboration in a range of areas, including trade, tourism, and regional development, to the mutual advantage of Bhutan and its worldwide allies.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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