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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.

 

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Addepar Broadens Reach with Expanded Offerings for RIAs

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Addepar, Inc., a leading technology platform for wealth management, announced a number of releases aimed at helping RIAs that serve a variety of client types excel in an increasingly competitive market. The new capabilities and features make it easier than ever for firms to adopt Addepar’s modern technology stack, streamline their operations and offer a truly differentiated client experience powered by best in class data, analytics and reporting.

“As the wealth management industry continues to undergo a dramatic transformation, we’re making good on our goal to meet wealth advisors where they are. We’re delivering new functionality in our platform that empowers RIAs to navigate these changes with purpose-built, intuitive solutions so that they can deliver lasting value to clients and grow their business for years to come,” said Addepar CEO Eric Poirier.

Making it easier for RIAs to modernize their tech stack
For established RIAs who want to modernize their reporting technology but find it daunting to make the switch, Addepar is introducing a broader and more flexible set of data migration options to efficiently and precisely fulfill each client’s data onboarding needs. This includes a newly introduced “Advent Converter,” which streamlines migrating data from Advent’s APX and Axys systems into Addepar. Addepar will continue investing in additional data management and conversion solutions to make it easy for any firm to upgrade to Addepar’s technology.

Addressing emerging demand and delivering more client value
Addepar’s strong traction with large RIA firms, banks and broker-dealers has exposed a previously unmet need in the market: the power to use Addepar’s platform for all advisor teams, from those with ultra-high net worth clients to those who serve the mass affluent. Today, the company is introducing AddeparGoSM, an offering that tailors Addepar’s software to the specific needs of these larger firms. AddeparGo is designed with a set of features, capabilities and custodial data feeds that optimize for speedy implementation and make it easy for larger firms who have a range of advisor teams to adopt. The company is making AddeparGo available to key partners and clients now, and will continue shaping this offering based on feedback.

Helping the back-office streamline operations and scale productivity
Many well-established firms have turned to Addepar for its ability to support sizable and complex implementations and provide data aggregation, analytics and reporting at scale. To offer even greater support, the company is pleased to announce the release of Addepar Teams. Teams is a set of advanced controls and permissions to serve firms that need to grant varying access by team, branch, role and functional responsibility. This set of digital capabilities dramatically simplifies the previously time-intensive and error-prone operational process of managing reporting controls, while achieving legal, risk and compliance goals.

 

SOURCE Addepar

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FinTech Startup TheGuarantors Announces New Chief Operating Officer

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New York-based FinTech company, TheGuarantors, has announced the hiring of Sean O’Donoghue as Chief Operating Officer. Since its founding in 2015, TheGuarantors has been a leader in finding innovative ways to solve for risk in leasing, using its expertise in real estate, risk, and technology. This recent addition to the leadership team reflects the company’s expanding product suite, geographic footprint, and client-base.

Mr. O’Donoghue is a solutions-driven leader with 30 years of proven excellence in developing and executing market leading technology and digital strategies, product development, operations, and financial management at a variety of established companies including DreamWorks Animation SKG, Madison Square Garden, Macerich, Oracle and KPMG. Mr. O’Donoghue excels in helping companies optimize existing business models, and identifying and developing new technology-based solutions. Most recently, Mr. O’Donoghue was Chief Operating Officer at Trōv Inc., a renowned InsurTech startup that powers digital insurance solutions for innovative businesses in the finance, insurance, mobility, and retail sectors, enabling the new ways people live, work and move.

Mr. O’Donoghue’s broad background aligns well with TheGuarantors’ own profile. Having worked in both corporate and startup environments, he has domain expertise in insurance, technology, real estate, media and entertainment, and he has delivered enterprise and B2B solutions, platform technology, as well as direct-to-consumer products. “At TheGuarantors, we pride ourselves on our agility and cross-functionality,” says CEO Julien Bonneville. “Different stakeholders from real estate, risk, insurance, technology, asset-management, etc. come to us for solutions because of how well we work across different verticals and domains – Sean is a perfect fit.” Mr. O’Donoghue adds, “TheGuarantors has established itself as an innovative and execution-oriented player at the cross-section of Real Estate, FinTech and InsurTech. It’s an exceptionally strong team, with a wealth of knowledge and new ideas, and I look forward to helping the company thrive and expand.”

In 2019 TheGuarantors announced $15 million in Series B funding, bringing their total amount raised to $27 million. Last year the company also launched a new product (Securiti, the smart commercial deposit), built out their current product offerings (Guaranti, an expanded program of multifamily products), re-branded, and successfully expanded nationally. With O’Donoghue as a trusted insurance and technology pioneer and leader, TheGuarantors will continue to provide tools, products, and solutions that can change with the market. Their vision is to be the “go-to” most trusted brand for insurance products and financial solutions throughout the real estate industry (servicing every real estate professional, resident and corporate tenant alike).

 

SOURCE TheGuarantors

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American Discovery Capital Announces Strategic Growth Investment in SmartBug Media®

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American Discovery Capital (ADC)—a private equity firm focused on investing in leading family-owned and middle market companies in high-growth sectors—today announced its strategic growth investment in and partnership with SmartBug Media®.  SmartBug® is the highest-rated HubSpot partner in the world and a leading Intelligent Inbound® marketing agency that assists businesses in generating leads, increasing awareness, and building brand loyalty through inbound marketing, digital strategy, design, marketing automation, and public relations. As part of its investment strategy, ADC will work closely with SmartBug to develop new growth channels and expand the company’s capabilities and team, while supporting its continued delivery of the highest levels of customer service and value.

ADC focuses on partnering with business owners and entrepreneurs who have built successful, established businesses with strong fundamentals that can benefit from ADC’s operational experience and capital to support future growth. Its partnership with SmartBug demonstrates ADC’s ability to identify unique investment opportunities and exemplifies its partnership approach with innovative owners and entrepreneurs.

“SmartBug demonstrates the quality and attractive attributes we look for in an investment,” said Mike Denbeau, partner at ADC. “Its unique business model—which includes strong and steady growth, recurring revenue and long-term customer relationships, a strong culture of innovation, and a unique ‘remote’ business model that provides access to a nationwide talent recruitment pool—has already proven very successful in the digital agency space and is one we look to build upon in partnership with the company’s highly talented management team.”

John Joliet, partner at ADC, added, “Over a decade ago, Ryan Malone anticipated the coming shift from traditional outbound marketing to data-driven, inbound marketing services for middle market growth companies, and he saw an opportunity to build a world-class professional team by employing an innovative ‘remote’ business model.  We believe this unique philosophy has paved the way for SmartBug to develop its strong reputation throughout the industry as a market leader and respected advisor, which has resulted in numerous awards and accolades over the past few years. ADC believes that SmartBug’s ability to ‘productize’ this value in a recurring, long-term relationship model using its proprietary recruitment, employee training, and customer delivery processes makes its future prospects even more compelling.”

SmartBug has a number of unique and impressive attributes that made it an attractive investment for ADC:

  • SmartBug is a leader in the high-growth inbound marketing sector, which is benefiting from a rapid shift of spend from traditional outbound marketing channels to data-driven, digital inbound marketing.
  • Unlike the traditional agency model, which has historically focused on project-based, short-term campaign work that can be high cost with unclear ROI implications for the client, SmartBug offers customers a compelling, data-driven retainer model. This model allows customers to outsource their digital marketing needs on a turnkey basis, driving long-term value for the client with a heavy emphasis on ROI.
  • The need for SmartBug’s services is especially mission-critical in the large middle market segment of the U.S. economy, where companies typically do not have in-house digital marketing capabilities and access to the level of marketing talent that larger firms possess, creating a large untapped opportunity for SmartBug.
  • As the highest-rated HubSpot Partner in the world and HubSpot’s Global Partner of the Year, SmartBug has won a number of prominent industry awards recognizing the quality of the company’s work product, team, and workplace culture, including winning more than 150 MarCom Awards in the past two years alone, making the Inc. 5000 list three years in a row, being named to the inaugural Adweek 100: Fastest Growing Agencies list, and earning a number of Comparably and Great Place to Work® awards.
  • SmartBug’s strong value proposition and unique retainer model have driven strong growth for the company and provide a reliable base of recurring revenue to re-invest in growing the company’s customer relationships and talent.

“We are very excited to partner with ADC, and we feel like their team and goals align fully with our values, our remote business model, where we believe the market is headed, and most importantly, our people,” said Ryan Malone, founder and CEO of SmartBug Media. “The ADC team is a uniquely talented and forward-looking group that understands and values the overarching purpose of our remote model: that you can win in business while retaining the flexibility to do the things that matter to you and your family. We believe there is a large, underserved opportunity to provide high quality digital marketing services to clients with the cost certainty and emphasis on ROI that clients highly value and our unique model affords, at scale—and we are excited to partner with ADC to address this compelling market need.”

 

SOURCE American Discovery Capital

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