Meet the Team: Chechay Nidup
Chechay, MyBhutan’s Director of Operations, was born and brought up in Bhutan and has been in the travel business for the last 8 years. She developed her passion for discovering, exploring and experiencing Bhutan when she spent time with a British family with four children touring Bhutan for three months. She discovered her country through the eyes of the visitors and has since dedicated her time to explore Bhutan and help visitors experience her country.
The following are some excerpts from an interview with Chechay:
1. How long have you been working in the tourism industry of Bhutan? What attracted you to the industry?
I have been working in the tourism industry since for the past 8 years. I was attracted to how the industry makes the Bhutanese people appreciate the country and be grateful for what we have; which in turn enables us to offer all visitors our perspective on life values, simplicity, environment and culture.
2. What are the changes you have seen with tourism in the country, from when you started and now?
The rise in the number of visitors every year. It was such a big deal when we hit 100,000 visitors a couple years back. We have since crossed the 200,000 mark (international and regional tourists combined).
3. What is your favorite place in Bhutan? Why?
Phobjikha. This village in Gangtey Valley under the Wangdue Dzongkhag (district) is my all time favorite. It is probably where I will retire in future. The valley is stunning and picturesque. There is so much nature to explore with locals who are laidback, friendly and very helpful.
4. What are the best gifts that guests can buy when in Bhutan?
The best gifts to buy would be Bio Bhutan Products, handmade paper at Jungshi Paper Factory and Assorted Rural Crafts at Tarayana Rural Craft Center. All of these items are made in Bhutan and help sustain the livelihood of local farmers.
5. What is unique about MyBhutan’s services?
We believe that there is no room to compromise on our services; so we always assign the best guides, drivers, vehicles and book the best properties/rooms.
I can proudly say that we have built excellent personal relationships with most of our guests.
6. What are the challenges you face with everyday tourists and what are some of the steps the government can adopt to address these challenges?
The tourism industry is more than 40 years old, yet basic infrastructure development (roadside amenities, restrooms, etc.) are still being developed. The government is aware and is already addressing the issue. They have constructed two restrooms between Thimphu and Paro Highway, and have plans to develop similar facilities in other districts in the near future too.
WRITTEN BY KARMA YONTEN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY GEMBO