Tourism in Bhutan started only in 1974 with the enthronement of the fourth king Jigme Singye Wangchuk. This tiny Himalayan kingdom is barely known to the outside world even today and if you look at the world map it is easy to overlook Bhutan. With the expansion of modern communications, Bhutan has become a part of the global village.
However, in order to ensure a balanced socio-economic development and to preserve a unique culture, the government has carefully regulated tourism. The Tourism Council of Bhutan (T.C.B) sets strict rules and regulations that are designed to discourage mass tourism. The number of tourists visiting Bhutan is still small but increasing year by year. The number has risen from about 3000 in 1993 to 11,000 in 2005 and 54,000 in 2012. .
This limited tourism provides the opportunity to individual travellers visiting Bhutan to gain a unique insight into a way of life seldom seen. Travellers feel it is a privilege to be there gathering many enchanting memories that automatically become engraved in their hearts. Bhutan’s past is its present and modern development has so far blended in effectively with the traditional aspects of society. This unspoilt, sparsely populated country deserves special attention from avid travellers and welcomes people who want something different to join a cultural or an adventure tour.
Tourism Policy – How it Affects You
Independent travel is not permitted. All tourists visiting Bhutan are required to travel through an authorized tour operator on a pre-planned, pre-paid, guided package tour. The tour operator is responsible for all logistical arrangements during your stay in Bhutan. The government stipulates a fixed minimum all-inclusive daily rate. The tour operator cannot offer discounts below this rate since it would be breaking the law. Please understand that, government royalties mean that the tour operator is working within a tight budget. Bhutan Visit has a carefully thought-out pricing structure which ensures that we can provide our visitors with the very best service and standards of accommodation without cutting any corners. We aim to provide you with the best services and facilities possible.
Though you will not necessarily notice this, permits are required for travelling within the country and for visiting certain religious sites. Bhutan Visit organizes this prior to your arrival. Please understand, however, that tourists may not visit certain specified regions and holy sites.
Tourist facilities, such as hotels and restaurants, are expanding and improving. Most have been built and decorated in traditional Bhutanese style. Standard tourist hotels are required to be of three-star standard (Bhutanese categorization) and so the services are limited. However, you will find reasonable standard hotels in the west, and comfortable lodges as you go further east, and you will always be greeted and welcomed by friendly people. In the main towns in West.