Bhutan honored with the outstanding Destination Excellence Award

Bhutan honored with the outstanding Destination Excellence Award

Bhutan wins award for ‘Outstanding Destination Excellence’ at the 18th National Geographic Traveler China awards ceremony

Bhutan was honored with the ‘Outstanding Destination Excellence Award’ at the 18th National Geographic Traveler (NGT) China Golden Awards Ceremony, marking the first award Bhutan has received in the China market.

The awards ceremony took place on December 28th, 2023, at the ZHENGDA Center in Beijing and acknowledged outstanding accomplishments in travel, hospitality, lifestyle, and destinations.

Dorji Dhradhul, Director General (DG) of the Department of Tourism (DoT) said, “We are delighted and thrilled by Bhutan’s triumph in being awarded the National Geographic Traveler Magazine’s 2023 18th Golden Award for Outstanding Destination Excellence. This esteemed accolade not only underscores Bhutan’s unwavering dedication to delivering unparalleled travel experiences, but also serves as a testament to the nation’s distinctive allure and the sincere endeavors invested to guarantee every traveler’s journey to Bhutan is genuinely extraordinary.”

In addition, Carissa Nimah, Chief Marketing Officer of the DoT said, “This NGT China award holds immense significance for the Department and Bhutan as a whole. It is a testament to the exceptional efforts and commitment put forth to showcase Bhutan as an outstanding travel destination.”

The chief marketing officer said that winning such recognition reaffirms Bhutan’s unique appeal and cultural richness, as well as its commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism practices. “Especially for the Chinese market, this award holds extraordinary meaning. It marks DoT Bhutan’s first award in China, and its impact is profound.”

“We are truly grateful for the recognition from NGT China, and we hope that, with this award as a new starting point, more Chinese travelers could discover the beauty of Bhutan and include it in their travel destination list,” Carissa said.

For instance, Carissa said that NGT team in China has long been focused on niche destinations worldwide that offer unique experiences as Bhutan’s emphasis on preserving cultural heritage, promoting eco-friendly tourism, and establishing a profound connection between visitors and local communities has set it apart.

The chief shared that with the country’s unique approach, including the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), resonates with travelers seeking meaningful and transformative experiences.

“For Chinese travelers, Bhutan is often perceived as a “dream” destination filled with longing and admiration, despite its not-so-distant location,” the chief marketing officer of the DoT said, adding that, after the gradual and orderly reopening of outbound tourism in China post-pandemic, NGT, as an internationally oriented travel lifestyle media in China aims to strengthen its focus on significant outbound destinations from the perspective of Chinese travelers, and hope to facilitate more opportunities for Chinese travelers to explore Bhutan.

Meanwhile, the winners of the awards were determined through a process that encompasses three primary categories, namely, destinations that garnered widespread attention from travelers in 2023, destinations playing a significant role in international relations, and those showcasing unique aspects in sustainable development and cultural heritage.

The evaluation was based on expert recommendations, editor selections, and overall significance within the industry, according to the department.

The department stated that this accomplishment solidifies Bhutan’s position as an outstanding destination for Chinese travelers seeking both environmental consciousness and profound cultural immersion.

“In addition to sustainability, Bhutan captivates Chinese travelers with its unparalleled experience, unveiling the treasures of its rich cultural heritage through the nation’s unique traditions, historical sites, and vibrant festivals,” the department stated.

National Geographic Traveler Magazine is a renowned publication that takes readers on an informative journey around the globe, exploring the diverse landscapes, cultures, and wonders of our planet.

This magazine is committed to responsible and sustainable travel. It encourages readers to explore the world while being mindful of the impact of their journeys on the environment and local communities.

Through its articles and stunning photography, National Geographic Traveler fosters an appreciation for the earth’s natural beauty and the importance of preserving it for future generations.

National Geographic Traveler China will publish a comprehensive article on WeChat covering this special event and awards ceremony.

National Geographic Traveler is one of the very first international travel magazines published in China. The WeChat account of National Geographic Traveler has over 220,000 followers and its Weibo account has over 1.74 million followers.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu