The Czechs – perhaps because they do not have their own access to the sea – are a renowned nation of travellers. You meet them everywhere. South American mountains, Caribbean and Thai beaches, global mega poles, trekking in the poor Central Asian Republics, and trans-Siberian trains. They travel to all-inclusive golf resorts, but at the same time they are among the renowned seekers of low-cost lines anywhere. Still, there are a few countries in the world where you practically do not get involved with the Czechs – and one of them is “land of luck” the Inconspicuous, small Himalayan state of Bhutan.
Bhutan is different. It is the first country in the world to completely ban the sale of tobacco products. Instead of a gross domestic product, from the time of King Jigme Sinngjä Wangchuk was a key transformation of the so-called GNH – great national happiness. What is hidden under this term? A blend of references to Tibetan Buddhism and “green” values such as caring for nature, harmonious development of the spirit and fair distribution of income in society.
Perhaps because big national happiness has not changed in today’s globalized world, Bhutan is holds to a very strict tourism policy. Classical tourists, and much less the alternative Czechs, really do not go across. There are no classic airlines flying there, and the borders are strictly guarded. Tourists can travel only in groups and on prepaid and paid routes with an official tourist guide. All formalities must be arranged in advance by the travel agency in conjunction with the state-accredited tour operator. In addition, each passenger must pay a Minimum Daily Package, which includes, inter alia, accommodation in a standard three-star hotel prior to obtaining the visa; breakfast, lunch and dinner; a driver’s fee, an English-speaking cook’s guide and a trekking assistant, a mandatory entrance to museums and memorials, and a tourist tax of $ 65.
Thanks to the Czech footprints in the mountainous Asian country, where there is not much. Nevertheless, there is a Czech company and a branch from a company where you might not have expected it. ELKO EP celebrates its success with its intelligent electrical installations. This is not a small project – in Thimpa, the capital ELKO EP is helping to build a building of the Bhutan National Bank and a Toyota showroom.
“The Bhutan National Bank is a four-storey building of typical Bhutanese appearance and architecture. Otherwise, Bhutan is very protective of its traditions, which is reflected in the construction industry or the costumes of the local people. Our main task was to provide and control lighting, as there are more than 2,000 lights in the whole building. Their control is based on central and outdoor intensity controllers, controlled by the RF Touch wireless touch units. Together, more than 300 iNELS units take care of the entire building, we also take care of fire detectors, shading technology and air conditioning,” says Jiří Konečný, owner of ELKO EP, which was declared the Global Exporter of the Year in the Czech Republic a year ago.
“At the Toyota showroom, we co-operated with state-owned STCBL (State Trading Corporation of Bhutan). We primarily control the complete lighting, Daikin ventilation systems, building input control systems, outdoor light intensity controllers, and smoke detectors. The control system of the entire system is responsible for the operation of 188 light circuits. Controls are available through touch units, Interra drivers and iHC application for tablets and smartphones,” adds Jiří Konečný.
However, the breakthrough beyond the threshold for which few people get involved was the very first contract for the most famous building in the whole country – the Buddha Dordenma, dominated by a fifty-foot statue of the sacred Buddha, in which ELKO EP took care of complete lighting control in historic interior parts and scenes of lighting scenes, depending on the movement of guests, as well as security systems for inputs and movement around the object.
“We export to more than 70 countries, but we consider Bhutan to be a special catch. We got there thanks to our contacts and our strong position and good reputation in neighbouring India. Making realizations in Bhutan naturally involves a number of non-standard moments. Here you have to deal much more with a state apparatus that carefully guards all the steps you do. On the other hand, people are extremely grateful and cordial, concludes Jiří Konečný.
If you can ever see Bhutan, you can even trace the Czech footsteps.