Community tourism is very important in a small country like Bhutan. Community tourism can bring about development in far flung, remote areas in Bhutan. Today, seventy percent of the tourism activities are concentrated in west Bhutan thus the benefits of tourism is minimal in remote areas in Bhutan.
Bhutan is seeing an increase in the number of unemployed every year and the rural urban migration is on the increase. Without some form of benefits and a decent livelihood in the villages, young people will flock the towns in Bhutan.
Community tourism is one solution to solving the rural urban migration. Communities have to be developed by means of road, income and a future to look to. With small land holdings and seasonal income through crops life in the rural areas is not attractive to young educated people.
Community tourism can be developed by the Government and trainings can be given to our rural folks to come up with products. These products will give them additional income during the post harvest months.
It might take some years for community tourism to develop but the start must be made today. Community tourism is one way of engaging our young people in some productive work. It is one way of diversifying and sharing the benefits of tourism to all sections of the society and thus closing the gap between the haves and the have nots.
Bhutan started its first community tourism in the villages of Nabji Korphu. The second trail for community tourism was in Merak sakten. Several festival like the one in the Jhumolhari base camp and the mushroom festival in Bumthang are some of the community based tourism activities conducted lately.
Several farmhouses in Phobjikha have been given hospitality training to cater to guests.