Bhutan aims to increase the number of tourists


Bhutan, known for its stunning scenery, rich culture and unique philosophy of Gross National Happiness, is re-entering the global tourism scene with ambitious plans to attract more visitors. This small Himalayan kingdom, nestled between India and China, is looking to not only attract more tourists but also diversify its origins to ensure sustainable tourism development.
From $65 to $200 per day per person - that's how much the entry fee (sustainability levy) was increased in Bhutan after the coronavirus pandemic. However, when visitor numbers began to decline, this fee was drastically reduced, resulting in 100,000 visitors again in 2023.
Despite the pandemic restrictions, Bhutan welcomed more than 103,000 tourists last year, exceeding the target. However, more than two-thirds of the arrivals were from India, paying significantly less tax to stay in the country than other tourists.
The total revenue from these sustainable development fees (SDFs) was around US$26 million in 2023, despite a significant drop in tourist numbers. This is a record high compared to the pre-pandemic level of US$25 million.
To ensure a more sustainable and diverse tourism community, Bhutan plans to increase tourist arrivals to 300,000 this year. The country's main goal is not only to increase the number of tourists but also to attract them from different parts of the world.

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