Pema Gatshel embraces ecotourism, opens new eco-lodge and campsites

Pema Gatshel with its rich spiritual memories, abundant local festivals, and artisans has yet to fully embrace community-based ecotourism. However, that is changing with the recent launch of two eco-lodge and campsites in Norbugang and Shumar Gewogs. These new additions promise to attract both domestic and international visitors. The two eco-lodge and campsites were opened last week.

Gongribalay eco-lodge and campsite located at Nganglam in Norbugang Gewog provide a unique and sustainable way for visitors to experience the beauty of the Gongri riverside.

The region boasts beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife, making it a suitable destination for outdoor enthusiasts. By offering eco-friendly accommodations, visitors can enjoy their stay while minimising their impact on the environment.

Additionally, visitors can experience the unique culture of the village.

“On that side, there are a lot of animals to see and we have found a new eco-trail. If we decide to open the trail, we will charge a minimal fee. We will divide the money into four parts: two for the villagers, one for us and one as a donation to the Dratshang,” said Dorji, coordinator of Gongribalay Eco-lodge Group, Norbugang Gewog.

Likewise, a group of young people has set up a campsite at Yurungzam in Shumar Gewog.

The campsite offers employment opportunities for local youth and aims to promote the Lotus trek trail, which was constructed a few years ago.

They also encourage residents to have family outings to attract more international tourists in the future.

“We will offer trekking routes but for hot springs and hot stone baths, you will need to visit other places. Luckily, we have medicinal water near our campsite. We are planning to provide medicinal hot stone baths there, which will save money for those who want to use these facilities,” said Gembo Wangdi, coordinator of Lotus Eco Camps Group, Shumar Gewog.

The Department of Local Governance and the district administration with funding support from the Bhutan-Helvetas office initiated the community-based eco-lodge and camp sites.

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