Friday, May 2, 2008

Discover Bhutan hits the stands

1 May, 2008 - Tourism has forayed into print with the launch of the country’s first travel magazine “Discover Bhutan” yesterday. The 100 glossy paged magazine aims to provide a platform for the tourism fraternity and the general public to highlight information and experiences, apart from enabling people to make the best choice of destination in Bhutan.

“It’s just another communication tool for those who don’t know about Bhutan and we want it to be a comprehensive tourism magazine that reaches the grass root level,” said the general secretary of the association of Bhutanese tour operators (ABTO).

Published by ABTO, in collaboration with Rabsell Media Services, the plan to produce such a magazine was there for two years, but it was not until last December that they actually started working on the first issue.

The first issue dedicates its tribute to Bhutan’s great leaders and includes articles on textiles, architecture, food, indigenous healing, environment and tourism. It also features regular information on Drukair’s import and export regulations and festival dates.

Chief editor Sangay Wangchuk told Kuensel that the journey to bringing out a magazine was challenging. He is keen to produce stories on one of its chapters - indigenous healing - by making them simpler to understand.

“We’re trying to connect our Bhutanese with the old traditions; they do have meaning and we have to understand the simplicity of our traditions.”

They aim to publish Discover Bhutan on a quarterly basis in the coming years. As of now, it’s distributed only in Thimphu and Paro.

“We plan to tie up with big organizations, that have outlets all over the country, so that the magazine reaches every part of Bhutan,” said marketing and research head Tshering Wangchuk.
A total of 5,000 copies were printed, of which 3,000 will be available in outlets in Thimphu. The outlets include restaurants, bookshops and a few hotels. Each copy costs Nu 100. The remaining copies will be distributed to tour operators in and outside Bhutan and at major travel trade fairs.
Discover Bhutan will be a bi-annual magazine. Their second issue will hit the stands in September.
By Sonam Pelden

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