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10 Things You Must Know Before Planning a Trip to Bhutan

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Situated in the east side of the enormous and gorgeous Himalayas, Bhutan is visualized as the land of monasteries, temples and of course, mesmerizing natural beauty and one of the most eye-catching wilderness. The country is unlike any other. There are unprecedented travel experiences, hiking, trekking, adventure, and spiritual that entice every visitor. PErtinently, Bhutan opened it’s borders for tourists after 1974, but more and more number of visitors are now visiting the country that contributes in making revenue for the country. The “High value, low impact” slogan which fits with its sustainable  methodology, has been in the tourism policy of Bhutan ever since that implies exclusivity and high production for the kingdom.

If you fancy a trip to this wonderful Himalayan country, here are a few things to consider before you start packing your bags.

 1)Best time to visit Bhutan?

The ideal time to tour Bhutan is during the spring season, i.e from March to May. It’s the time when flowers are blossoming, skies are clear and clearly visible Himalayan peaks. From June to August, the tourist season is all time low because of the incessant rains that significantly  restrict the tourist activities, such as trekking and sightseeing. But of course, travelling in this season would be least expensive than in peak seasons when the rush of visitors is quite high.

Since the country is also known for it’s buoyant and vigorous religious festivals, many people from all over the world like to witness the enthralling gala. These religious festivals and events are known as Tshechus, which means “10th day” and every temple and monastery hosts their Tshechu on the 10th of their selected month. These festivals are regarded with high respect and  people gather together for masked dances and receive blessings from their deities. These special events and festivals particularly attract visitors, creating a unique and remarkable aura. It also familiarises foreign people with the traditions,culture and history of Bhutan.

2) Choosing a tour operator

Travelling to Bhutan cannot be decided in a jiffy. The government of Bhutan requires tourists to plan their journey in advance and book their tour, artrange their visas, etc through government approved tour operators. It’s all pre-paid. The tourist fee per person per day is $200-250, including accommodation, food and travel within the country and an assigned travel guide. However citizens of India, Bangladesh and Maldives do not require a visa to visit Bhutan.

3) Food in Bhutan

The food in Bhutan is mostly quite spicy and almost every meal includes chillies. If you are not used to eating spicy food, you can ask for anything with no chillies. They will politely oblige. Rice and meat dishes are the staples. However veggies, momos and dumplings are also also available widely.

4) Dress Code

The traditional dress of Bhutan is a “gho” for men and “kira” for women. Gho is a long, knee-length robe like garment, wrapped around and held with a belt, while kira is an ankle-length dress accompanied by a jacket called “Tego”, with an inner layer known as a “Wonju”. The local people wear them on all occasions, in temples monasteries and Dzongs, etc. But visitors are not necessarily required to wear them. However while visiting their temples and other religious places, it’s important to ensure that you are covered. You must also remove your hat or cap if you are near their national flag, and remove your footwear as well when entering a holy place, such as a temple or a monastery.

5) Language

The language of Bhutan is Dzongkha. However, taxi drivers, shopkeepers, hotel and restaurant staff can speak and understand English quite well.

6) Photography

People of Bhutan are quite friendly. However they are shy too. If you want to take a picture of the local people there, seek permission first. However, avoid clicking pictures of any member from the Royal family. This could land you in trouble otherwise.

Photographing their temples and Dzongs is permitted but not where their deities are placed. Also keep in mind that wherever you require to take off your shoes, clicking pictures is prohibited. However you can always take help from you local tour guide.

7) Smoking is prohibited in Bhutan

Just like any other country, Bhutan also has it’s rules and regulations. It is imperative upon visitors to strictly adhere to them. The country has a stern and uncompromising policy for tobacco consumption. Smoking is totally banned at public places in Bhutan. However foreign tourists are allowed to carry a maximum of 200 cigarettes and you can find a hotel, restaurant or a bar to smoke. If you are caught smoking at a public place or their religious place, a high amount of fine can be imposed on you and you could even be sentenced jail.

8) Do not disrespect the tradition or the Royals

The Royals are considered the incarnation of their Gods and deities. So any indecent and rude remark towards the royals will not be appreciated. Make sure you do not mock them.

9) ATMs in Bhutan

ATMs are easily available in most parts of Bhutan. However the transaction charges might be variable. Foreign currency can be exchanged for the local currency when you land in Bhutan.

10) Get a local SIM card

There is no guarantee that your SIM card would work in Bhutan, as there is a handful of mobile service providers in the country. However you can get a local SIM quite easily to stay connected. You will need your passport You tour guide would help you getting one.

After having read about the kingdom, you must be certainly be excited for a Bhutan tour. If you desire a smooth, cheerful and hassle free tour experience, you can always count on bookmytour.bt for a trip to cherish, as we offer a wide range of packages that suit you best.

This article is a contribution of Ram Narayan Mandal

 

About the Author:

Ram Narayan Mandal, is a content manager at the BookMyTour.

He basically used to write about the topic that helps people to understand better about Bhutan.

 

Fintech

MICT Reports Financial Results for the Third Quarter Ended September 30, 2019

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MICT, Inc. (Nasdaq: MICT), today announced financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2019.

MICT’s financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019 reflect Micronet, Ltd. revenues for the months of January 2019 and February 2019 only. On February 24, 2019, Micronet closed a public equity offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange which resulted in a dilution of MICT’s ownership interest in Micronet to 39.53%. Thus, based on U.S. GAAP, MICT no longer includes Micronet’s financial results in its consolidated financial statements effective as of March 1, 2019. On September 5, 2019, Micronet closed a public equity offering on the TASE. As a result, MICT’s ownership interest in Micronet was diluted from 33.88% to 30.48%, and MICT’s current voting interest in Micronet stands at 37.79% of the issued and outstanding shares of Micronet.

“In the third quarter, we closed on a $7.25 million funding, as part of a $9 million funding agreement in support of our planned business combination with BNN Technology and others. This $7.25 million funding included a $2 million investment from BNN into MICT. We expect to close on the balance of the additional $1.75 million in the near future,” stated David Lucatz, Chief Executive Officer of MICT.

On November 7, 2019, MICT closed on a $25 million private placement of convertible notes, converting automatically at $1.41 per share of MICT common stock at the closing of an acquisition by the Company of Global Fintech Holdings Ltd (GFH), which acquired the ParagonEX Limited group of companies and the trading companies of BNN Technology PLC. Through its newly acquired subsidiaries, GFH is already a successful and profitable business, providing its platforms within the financial trading and Contracts for Difference (CFD) sectors in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. GFH expects over the coming months to implement its program to acquire substantial revenues through the acquisition of significant players in the sector, resulting in rapid growth and the contribution of significant profitability to the MICT group.

Upon closing of the merger, the combined MICT group is expected to have a strong balance sheet with over $25 million in cash, enabling the Company to pursue a revenue acquisition program and to materialize significant fintech opportunities in China.

David Lucatz, CEO of MICT, said, “We strongly believe that our strategic decision to change our business and enter into the fintech space will contribute very positively to value creation for our present and future shareholders. The funding enables us to acquire GFH, a very exciting fintech company with world class technological assets, operational management and significant profitability. We expect the combination of strong cash reserves and abundant opportunities will facilitate substantial earnings growth potential for the Company.

Darren Mercer who recently joined the Board of MICT and is a director and officer of GFH, added, “The opportunity to be a part of the MICT group is a very exciting proposition for us. The GFH group of companies brings to MICT a suite of world-leading technology platforms that are product-agnostic and can support all our new ventures within the fintech space, be they through acquisition or through organic growth, including in the very significant Chinese marketplace. Supported by MICT’s strong balance sheet and our combined cash resources, we believe it is a very exciting time for all new and existing MICT shareholders.”

Q3 2019 Review

  • Gross loss for MICT was $0 for three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to gross profit of $54,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Research and development (R&D) expense for MICT for the three months ended September 30, 2019 was $0, compared to $425,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expense for MICT was $501,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to $2.93 million for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Net loss attributable to MICT was $1,210,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $2.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019. On a per share basis, MICT reported a net loss of $0.11 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the three months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $0.28 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the three months ended September 30, 2018.
  • As of September 30, 2019 MICT had $5.77 million in cash and equivalents

Nine Months 2019 Review

  • Gross loss was $369,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a gross profit of $3.31 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • R&D expense for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 was $261,000, compared to $1.46 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • SG&A expense was $2.36 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to $6.28 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.
  • Net loss attributable to MICT was $3.22 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2019 compared to a net profit of $10,000 for the nine months ended September 30, 2018. On a per share basis, MICT reported a net loss of $0.30 per basic and diluted share from continued operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2019, compared to a net loss of $0.54 per basic and diluted share from continued operations and a net profit per share of $0.54 from discontinued operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.

Conference Call

The Company invites all those interested in participating in the call tomorrow, November 15, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. EST, to dial 1-888 -298 5973. Callers from outside of the U.S. may access the call by dialing: From London (and Europe) dial in +448 0818 90708 From Israel +972 79-939 8931.

user pin: 4444

Please dial in a few minutes before 9:00 a.m. EST. Participants may also access a live webcast of the conference call through the Investor Relations section of MICT’s website at: http://mixlr.com/servicesmict/

A telephone replay of the call will be available for two weeks at: 1-888 -298 5973. Callers from outside of the U.S- may access the call by dialing: From London (&Europe) dial in +448 0818 90708 From Israel +972 79-939 8931.

user pin: 3333

A slide presentation accompanying management’s remarks can be accessed at www.mict-inc.com.

No Offer or Solicitation

This communication is not intended to and does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to subscribe for or buy or an invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities or the solicitation of any vote in any jurisdiction pursuant to the proposed transaction or otherwise, nor shall there be any sale, issuance or transfer of securities in any jurisdiction in contravention of applicable law. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Subject to certain exceptions to be approved by the relevant regulators or certain facts to be ascertained, the public offer will not be made directly or indirectly, in or into any jurisdiction where to do so would constitute a violation of the laws of such jurisdiction, or by use of the mails or by any means or instrumentality (including without limitation, facsimile transmission, telephone and the internet) of interstate or foreign commerce, or any facility of a national securities exchange, of any such jurisdiction.

Important Additional Information Will be Filed with the SEC

In connection with the proposed acquisition, MICT intends to file a proxy statement on Schedule 14A and other relevant materials with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Stockholders of MICT are urged to read MICT’s proxy statement and all other relevant documents filed with the sec when they become available, as they will contain important information about the proposed transaction. A definitive proxy statement will be sent to MICT’s stockholders seeking their approval of the proposed transaction. MICT’s stockholders will be able to obtain these documents (when available) free of charge at the SEC’s web site, http://www.sec.gov. In addition, they may obtain free copies of these by contacting MICT’s Secretary, 28 West Grand Avenue, Suite 3, Montvale, NJ 07645.

Participants in Solicitation

MICT and its directors and executive officers, may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies for the special meeting of MICT’s stockholders to be held to approve the proposed business combination. Information regarding the persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be deemed participants in the solicitation of MICT’s stockholders in connection with the proposed business combination will be set forth in the proxy statement. You can find information about MICT’s executive officers and directors in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018.

 

SOURCE MICT, Inc.

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New free digital banking service puts dollars back in the pockets of Canadian shoppers

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Photo source: pymnts.com

 

Just in time for the holiday season, Price Drop is rolling out across the country for new and existing motusbank and Meridian Members. Price Drop promises to put real dollars back in the pockets of Canadian shoppers by automating the traditionally time-consuming process of price matching for retail purchases. The free digital banking service is the first of its kind offered by a financial institution.

“We’re excited by how easy and convenient it is to use Price Drop, not to mention the savings it offers, especially at a time of year when shoppers are looking for the best deals,” says David Baldarelli, COO of motusbank and SVP of Digital Banking & Analytics at Meridian. “We’re especially delighted that we can now extend this free value-add feature to more Canadians to offer a solution that eliminates stress and hassle in their every-day lives.”

While 150 of the top retail chains in Canada offer price matching, research shows that only five to eight per cent of shoppers take advantage of these price-matching guarantees. Many shoppers don’t know they exist while others are put off by the legwork involved in price-matching manually, on their own.

HOW PRICE DROP WORKS

The Price Drop feature is available – with no obligation or cost – to new and existing motusbank and Meridian Members by simply downloading the mobile banking app they use and opting in for the service. Price Drop automates the process in three easy steps:

  • After making a purchase, users simply snap a photo of the receipt of the item (if bought in-store) or obtain the digital receipt (if bought on-line) and send to Price Drop via email;
  • Price Drop then searches for better prices on electronics, furniture, toys, apparel, and other eligible items from price-matching retailers;
  • Price Drop will send an email or in-app notification if it finds a better price. It will also provide proof required to claim the difference in cost from the retailer.

There is no limit to the number of receipts that can be submitted or refunds received.

PROVEN PRICE DROP SAVINGS

We worked with Winnipeg-based fintech company PriceRazzi in helping to develop and test the digital service. More than 2000 Price Drop users participated in the successful pilot phase, revealing that:

  • 52% of people who submitted eligible receipts saved money through Price Drop
  • 23% of users who saved money by using Price Drop saved 30% or more on their purchase
  • Savings ranged from $2 – $500 for purchases for small household products to big screen TVs
  • The average saving per purchase through Price Drop was $25

“Consumers never have to waste another second searching for lower prices again,” says Baldarelli. “We invite all Canadians to have a chance to save money and experience the fresh approach to banking we make available to Members. We see the introduction of this service as yet another example of how we constantly focus on helping Canadians live simpler, easier lives.”

To learn more about this value-add feature and find out how to save dollars, visit motusbank or Meridian.

 

SOURCE Meridian Credit Union

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Visa and Georgia’s TBC-backed Neobank – Space Announce Strategic Partnership

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Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments, and Space, the first fully digital bank in Georgia, today announced they have signed a partnership agreement to jointly develop innovative banking services and expand digital banking footprints in new geographies.

Space is a startup backed by TBC Bank and was launched in 2018 with just three employees. They now have more than 70 employees, and have amassed a portfolio of more than 160,000 consumers. The bank operates as an innovative banking laboratory, and has successfully introduced financial services in new formats in Georgia. These include online bank account opening, remote KYC, courier card delivery by electro scooters, and the ability to manage all banking services through a mobile app.

Through the partnership, Visa will work with Space to jointly develop innovative, user-centric and secure banking solutions and help Space in their ambitions to expand to other countries focusing on CISSEE.

Nikoloz Kurdiani, the Deputy CEO of TBC Bank said, “Space has the ability to transform everyday banking experiences by making them easier and better. When we launched Space, we wanted to move beyond the traditional banking approach and outdated technology to create a new type of bank in Georgia that would be better at responding to modern customers’ needs. Now, we are ready to go global. Therefore, it is critically important for us to have gained Visa as our strategic partner. Space has proved that its innovative and ambitious vision is realistic and that it is ready to accomplish bigger goals.”

Yevgen Lisnyak, Senior Director and Head of Strategic Partnerships, Fintech & Ventures (Visa, CISSEE), added: At Visa we believe in the power of partnership to bring our profound experience and innovative solutions to emerging payment players like Space. Being in the center of Fintech ecosystem, we aim to share our knowledge, best practices and network of technological partners with Space to achieve mutual goals in expanding the reach of digital financial services. Today, we are witnessing a rapid transformation of the financial banking sector, where new players are playing a significant role. Neobanks are agile, consumer-centric, flexible and innovative, offering modern consumers completely new financial solutions and digital banking experience. We are excited to be able to support fintechs to navigate the payments landscape in the Caucasus region to achieve their business growth and international expansion ambitions”

 

SOURCE TBC Bank

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