The 6th Haa Summer Festival was one remarkable and unique event. The two day festival which is organized by the Dzongkhag officials and funded by Tourism Council of Bhutan commenced from 7-8 July 2017. The Chief Guest, Dasho Dzongdag (Governor) opened the festival with an inspirational speech acknowledging the littleness of the Haa Dzongkhag (District) in Bhutan. He also stated that “Haa is one of the richest districts in Bhutan on the basis of rich natural and cultural prosperity” and such festivals are the perfect way to showcase this beautiful wealth.
Royal Society for Protection of Nature, with a designated stall partook in the festival with the main objective of creating greater awareness on environment conservation and to raise fund for sustainability of various RSPN’s program. The festival was also a good avenue to promote RSPN’s publicity materials and to showcase the souvenirs of the on-going Community-Based Sustainable Tourism project in Haa.
Though it is the peak of monsoon, the occasional rain during the two day festival did not hinder the tourists and locals alike from adding life to the festival. The festival saw more than 100 tourists and about 600 locals on the first day and about 40 tourists and 400 locals on the second day. The festival was marked with a variety of traditional dances, folk dances of Haa and contemporary dzongkha songs. Besides, the food stalls with Bhutanese cuisine showcasing their wide variety of delicacies especially Hantoe (special dumpling of Haa) were some of the attractions in the festival.
The tourists that RSPN talked to informed that they were putting up at homestays. Considering the increasing number of visitors in the region and the limited number of hotels, the homestay project was introduced. The Homestay project in Haa, initiated by RSPN is a replication of the successful Homestay project in Phobjikha, Wangdue Phodrang.