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Bhutan-Australia friendship offer launched

The Bhutan-Australia friendship offer was launched to encourage Australian nationals to visit Bhutan in 2018, on Wednesday.

This marks 15 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries and is the third time that Bhutan is extending such an offer during the months of June to August.

Australian tourists will have to pay only the daily royalty of US$ 65 per person per day as compared to the mandatory daily package rate of US$ 200 per person per day during the said months.

Lyonpo Lekey Dorji who launched the offer along with Australian ambassador to Bhutan Harinder Sidhu said that Bhutan and Australia have enjoyed friendly relations long before formal diplomatic relation was established on September 14, 2002.

“Since then, bilateral ties between the two countries have continued to grow in strength and stature.”

The Australia-Bhutan Friendship Association was formed in 2003 with the objective to promote information exchanges and people-to-people interaction between the two countries. This was followed by the establishment of Bhutanese community associations in Sydney, Canberra, Perth and Melbourne.

Lyonpo Lekey Dorji also said that Australia is one of Bhutan’s important development partners and plays a pivotal role in socio-economic development of the country. Bhutan continues to benefit from its Official Development Assistance programs in terms of education and human resource development in many skills sectors.

“I am happy to share that Australia is among the top 10 source markets. Arrivals from Australia have been increasing steadily over the years,” he said, adding that many Bhutanese travel to Australia every year for work and studies.

Lyonpo said that this shows tourism business between Bhutan and Australia is growing at a fast pace, which is a positive development for the two countries.

“It is therefore important that we maintain this momentum for many years to come”.

The visitors can also avail discount on airfares and hotel charges.

Dechen Dolkar from Thimphu

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