31 December 2022

Top 10 Brand Bhutan Promotors Beyond Borders

The year 2022 has been a tremendous year of transformation and risk-taking for Bhutan. We have finally done many things that we have only thought about or didn't even think about to this day. It's too early to get any sense of where it would take us but what matters is that we have done it. I am optimistic that it will be worth it. 

Of the many things that we braved to change, even though they seemed to be working fine (because just fine isn't enough anymore), is the transformation in the tourism sector. The sudden rise in the SDF from $65 to $200 shocked the sector, but that's where the idea of an exclusive destination gets real. We just have to wait and see if this was a masterstroke. I have reasons to believe it is. But we have to put in some effort to promote Brand Bhutan as an exclusive destination across the world and not just on paper. We must make the world curious as much as we have to make ourselves ready. 

I made a list of the top ten Bhutanese citizens who have managed to create curiosity in parts of the world and made people ask, "Where is Bhutan?"

Department of Tourism could use these people as ambassadors in the regions they are popular or at least recognize them in some form because if we are to put a cost on their contributions to the promotion of the brand Bhutan- it's going to be priceless.  


1. (Druk Thuksey) Pawo Choyning Dorji: We all know about the Oscars nomination of Pawo's Lunana, a Yak in the Classroom, but we will never know the extent to which his film has promoted Bhutan globally. There is no way we can ever organically reach so many countries, cultures and languages as Lunana did. Therefore, I put him at the top of the list. 

Pawo Choyning Dorji, Filmmaker 

2. Dasho Tshering Tobgay: Dasho's TED Talk captured the attention of millions of people across the globe on our country's extraordinary leadership, environment and culture. That talk alone must have created billions of dollars worth of goodwill, network and climate action.  

Dasho Tshering Tobgay, Motivational Speaker

3. Sangay Tsheltrim: A bodybuilding champion turned actor with a military background fascinated the Bollywood audience, as he played against Bollywood superstars like Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan. He has introduced Bhutan to parts of India where we are hardly known.   

Sangay Tsheltrim, Bodybuilder, Actor

4. Kelly Dorji: Kelly was the only Bhutanese we had in the international film industry for decades. He has shared the silver screen with the biggest names in Indian cinema, and to this day, we see him on TV every few days. His roles in south Indian cinema are particularly glamorous even though they are negative roles.    
Kelly Dorji, Actor

5. Pinda Panda is a celebrated gamer and streamer living in Malaysia. She is living a life that most young people dream of. She has a huge fan following; for them, she is their introduction to Bhutan. She should appear in kira sometimes to fascinate her fan on the big gaming platforms. 
Pinda, Gamer

6. Chencho Gyeltshen: He took Bhutanese football to a whole new level by breaking the glass ceiling and starring in clubs in India. He made the whole country watch Indian premier leagues on TV. He made the commentators shout "Chencho from Bhutan" a hundred times in a match. 

Chencho Gyeltshen, Football Player

7. Phub Zam: Chechey Phub Zam, who emerged from a singing show, found her calling as a different breed of a singer who could touch people's hearts with a special voice for spiritual songs. She tours Buddhist countries across the Himalayan region, singing spiritual songs and spreading happiness. 

Phub Zam, Singer

8. Ryhaan Giri: This young man introduced himself to us from the Voice of Nepal stage. His captivating voice, combined with his sweet nature and good looks, is capturing the imagination of the Nepali population. He is creating an image of Bhutan in Nepal that they haven't known.

Ryhaan Giri, Singer

9. Ugyen Choden: When Ugyen appeared on some foreign TV shows giving interviews, she amused us with her candid remarks. We didn't know she was building a career in Nepali Cinema back then. Now, she is much loved in Nepal with back-to-back projects. If Ryhaan makes the Nepali girls scream out his name, Ugyen will do that for the boy. 

Ugyen Choden, Actor 

10. Tashi Choden: Tashi was into modelling and acting in the last few years, and it seemed like that was it, but the young girl changed it all for a new beginning by contesting for Miss Bhutan 2022 and winning it. The next phase of her life has just started, and she will undoubtedly represent Bhutan on the world stage in vogue. 

1 comment:

  1. I know only four of them which is less than 50% ... goes to show how ill-informed I am :(


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