The Scapegoat

The Tourism Council of Bhutan, it seems, has been made the scapegoat for spearheading the Government’s policy to liberalize tourist tariffs. Several of the people who attended last Wednesday’s meeting with the PM blamed TCB for not having consulted the stakeholders sufficiently, and for not having briefed our head of government properly.

But was it really mainly TCB’s fault? Or were they, in fact, merely trying their best, as civil servants, to obey the Executive Order, signed by the PM, of their political masters of the day? And was it McKinsey who, in reality, sold the idea, directly to the PM, without consulting enough stakeholders in the tourism sector?

Our poll asks who should be held accountable for trying to liberalize tourist tariffs.


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  1. I personally hold the McKinsey responsible for this poorly thought out and impracticable recommendations. With this, I am in doubt as to whether we made the right choice in employing them. Without doubt, when the whole thing collapses – I think it has already happened – the McKinsey will blame Bhutanese peoples’ lack of foresight for their failure. But they cannot escape the fact that they never consulted the stakeholders to find out if their scatter-brained ideas were realistic and achievable.

    Concerning McKinsey’s performance, I would like to say this: the tourism policy is a total failure even before it reached the stage of implementation. We can say that it never took off the ground. So, if McKinsey fails one more time, we should call for the termination of their contract with Bhutan.

    Coming back to the issue of the tourism liberalization policy, as far as I understood the issue, there were three components that stood out above the rest:

    1. Liberalization of the tariff;
    2. Upgrade the existing hotels to 3-Star class hotels; and
    3. Work towards attracting 100,000 tourists per year.

    The item (1) is now out the window. But what of the directives at serial (2) and (3)? Is the McKinsey still pushing to pursue the objectives at serial (2) and (3)?

  2. option for your question on ‘who should held accountable for trying to liberalize tourist tariff? must be:
    2) the Mckinsey and company
    PM should not be because he can’t decide what is good for bhutan. we need to consult other experts…. but it is not necessary to take all their advise without through digestion. why blame PM, instead blame Mckinsey and his company… they are running directly. Mckinsey and company should be accountable- we voted for PM or DPT, fortunately the voted for Mckinsey and his company- so our PM is ruled by them….. Mckinsey and company are PM of PM…. dea mey lu dea, tha ragi che( consult all,decide yourself, bhutansese saying)

  3. what a waste and what a relief at the same time.
    I think this ought to be taken as a big lesson, by TCB, by the present Govt, and by all the other Departments and many future GOvts. Our policies were made, the way they were for a reason by people who put the country before thier own personal gains or power. they were made to protect our culture, tradition, our pristine environment. An attempt to change then when it is serving its purpose very well was a big mistake and is something no Govt. should do for any policies even if there is a huge potential for revenue. I hope the plan to turn all hotels to three stars is also being revised and revisited.
    I don;t even care to think about Mckinsey and Company or blame them. They are just another business house that will take advantage if given a chance which I believe we have. I hope they got thier money and in return donates money to build something in Bhutan which most companies who have recieved big projects in our country have done in the past for future projects.

  4. If TCB is willing to be shoved around on the whims of certain section – be it McKinsey or government rather than by actual industry needs, then they should be held accountable. You know, being made an autonomous agency was to provide support to spine or the spine itself.

    The whole episode to liberlize the tariff and subsequent withdrawl have shown how spineless TCB is.

    TCB should be held accountable. Why should neighbour or passerby with opinion held responsible for what goes inside one’s house. Tourism was TCB’s home.

  5. Behind Mckinsy, behind the PM, was they any interest group that influenced them into the tourism libralization policy?

  6. How the TCB is functioning now is a result of how the DG was selected in the first place. Kesang Wangdi, the present DG, was on the panel of the interview board that was intended to select the DG. At the final moment, the last two candidates were left speechless when the board appointed him as the DG.

    Much has been written and said about this but nothing has happened. What he will do in TCB as the DG, will be what the person who put him there will want him to do. The strings controlling him in hands of someone else.

  7. In your pool, there should be another option i.e ALL…In my view, all should be blamed equally!!!


  1. […] a big majority of the people (57%) who took our poll think that the prime minister should be held accountable for trying to liberalize the tourist […]

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