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Bhutan Journal of Natural Resources and Development

College of Natural Resources


Ecotourism Destination Assessment using Tourist Potential Index in Zhemgang Dzongkhag
 

Dorji, Jigme .;  Gurung, Dhan. ;  Katel, Om.; 

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17102/cnr.2020.47

Abstract

Zhemgang is increasingly becoming a preferred destination for nature-based tourism with the increasing number of international visitors from 165 to 346 between 2013 and 2019. The attractions that contribute to the increasing number of visitors are 225,361.47 ha (94.17%) of area under forest cover, rich biodiversity, unexplored scenic beauty and unique Kheng culture. In the past years, five local standard hotels, five ecolodges and two homestays have added bed nights of international visitors from 420 in 2013 to 931 in 2018. This study was conducted to assessed 10 potential ecotourism destinations in Zhemgang on the basis of resource availability and preferential appeal by promoters for tourism resources using Tourist Potential Index (TPI). The TPI was found ranging between 17 and 31.75.The mean rank of the destinations varies between 1.47 and 9.47 and there is significance difference in resources appealed by the tour operators on resources availability in the destinations considered for this study; (χ 2(2) = 229.07, p = 0.00). The TPI may be useful indicator in developing practical guidelines for tourism resources development in the region.



Keywords

Biodiversity, destination, ecotourism, nature tourism, tourist potential index

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Reference

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Brunet, S., Bauer, J., Lacy, T.D. and Tshering, K. (2001). Tourism Development in Bhutan: Tensions between Traditions and Modernity. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 9(3), 243-263.

Das, N. (2013). Assessment of ecotourism resources: An applied methodology to Nameri National Park of Assam-India. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning, 6(6), 218-228.

Deng, J. and Selin, S. (2012). Application of the Delphi method to ecotourism destination Application of the Delphi method to ecotourism destination. Journal of Ecotourism, 11(3), 224-229. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14724049.2012.725520

Dorji, T. (2001). Sustainability of Tourism in Bhutan. The Journal of Bhutan Studies, 3(1), 84-104.

Gurung, D.B. and Scholz, R.W. (2010). Community-based ecotourism in Bhutan: Expert evaluation of stakeholder-based scenarios. The International Journal of Sustainable Tourism and World Ecology, 14(5), 397-411. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3843/SusDev.15.5:1

Gurung, D.B. and Seeland, K. (2008). Tourism in Bhutan: Extending its benefits to rural communities. Annals of Tourism Research, 35(2), 489-508.

NC. (2016). Review report on tourism policy and strategies. Thimphu: National Council of Bhutan.

Neth, B. (2008). Ecotourism as tool for sustainable rural community development and natural resources management in the TonleSap Biosphere Reserve. Kassel: Kassel University.

Priskin, J. (2001). Assessment of natural resources for nature-based tourism: the case of the Central Coast Region of Western Australia. Tourism Management, 22, 637-648.

Rigden, T. and Pelgen, U. (1999). Khengrig Namsum: A historical profile of Zhemgang Dzongkhag. Zhemgang: Integrated Sustainable Development Program.

Rinzin, C., Vermeulen, W.J. and Glasbergen, P. (2007). Ecotourism as a mechanism for sustainable development: the case of Bhutan. Environmental Sciences, 4(2), 109-125.

RLP. (2017). Community Based Tourism Action Plan for Zhemgang Dzongkhag. Zhemgang: Rural Livelihood Project III.

Schroeder, K. (2015). Cultural Values and Sustainable Tourism Governance in Bhutan. (R. Matthew, Ed.) Sustainability, 7, 16616-16630.

TCB. (2014). Annual Report: Bhutan Tourism Monitor 2013. Thimphu: Tourism Council of Bhutan.

TCB. (2015). Annual Report: Bhutan Tourism Monitor 2014. Thimphu: Tourism Council of Bhutan.

TCB. (2016). Annual Report: Bhutan Tourism Monitor 2015. Thimphu: Tourism Council of Bhutan.

TCB. (2017). Annual Report: Bhutan Tourism Monitor2016. Thimphu: Tourism Council of Bhutan.

TCB. (2018). Annual Report: Bhutan Tourism Monitor 2017. Thimphu: Tourism Council of Bhutan.

TCB. (2019). Annual Report: Bhutan Tourism Monitor 2018. Thimphu: Tourism Council of Bhutan.

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UNWTO/GTERC. (2016). UNWTO/GTERC Annual Report on Tourism Trends - 2016 Edition, Executive Summary. Madrid: World Tourism Organization and Global Tourism Economy Research Centre.