December 2016/January 2017
New MICE hardware on the cards for Bhutan
BHUTAN’s MICE industry will get a much-needed hardware boost in the near future, if plans for a new conference centre in the capital Thimpu come to fruition.
A site for the yet-unnamed conference centre has already been designated in the centre of Thimpu, but no schedule for its construction have been set so far. The facility will be able to house between 800-1,000 delegates, said Kesang Wangdi, director general, Tourism Council of Bhutan.
“It was necessary for us to plan for such a facility as a lot of MICE activity congregates in Thimpu, which is Bhutan’s main seat of government and its offices," he said.
According to government proposals, the low-rise, eco-friendly facility will be designed and operated based on the national policy of Gross National Happiness, to ensure that local communities benefit from its presence.
Wangdi said the TCB was also looking at the feasibility of developing several smaller MICE venues in other areas of Bhutan, particularly in the central and eastern regions where new domestic airports (Yonphula and Bumthang) have been built.
According to Wangdi, around a quarter of Bhutan's 37,482 arrivals in 2011 were for MICE.