Bhutan Tourism Policy

Bhutan is possibly one of the best examples of sustainable eco-tourism in the world and the country that are committed to this concept, inspired by the Buddhist Philosophy of the inter-dependence between and people and nature and expressed in the unique development philosophy Gross National Happiness the national policy high value ,low volume tourism asks every visitor to be sensitive to a social ,cultural and environmental system that trying to preserve the best of its traditions in a rapidly changing world. The Government of Bhutan is determined to safeguard its heritages to ensure that the people maintain their dignity against the onslaught of globalization and modernization.

As mystical as its name may sound, the Land of Thunder Dragon is not a museum; it is an existing culture and possibly one of the last living examples of a rich Himalayan society and while tourism may be important as a revenue earner to support the countrys free health and education services, Bhutan sees no gain in succumbing to over commercialism even in the field of tourism .It recognizes that a small country emerging from centuries of isolation must do so in its own time and its own pace. A modern economy is gently being introduced to the dominantly rural subsistence livelihood of majority of its people. Hence ,the policy of high value, low volume tourism to enable Bhutan to share its culture with the world and to learn from visitors who seek a destination that is an anachronism in todays global fast paced world.

Bhutan opened up to tourism in 1974 and the Government adopted a cautious tourism policy from beginning to avoid the negative impacts that mass tourism could have on a small country. (Visitors pay a minimum tariff of US $ 250.00 per night an all inclusive payments for accommodation, meals, guide services, Government taxes, transportation within Bhutan, entry fees for monuments and museum fees).This exclusive policy was Bhutans representation of eco- tourism.

Tourism is one of the largest generations of foreign exchange for the countrys small economy, the Tourism Council of Bhutan is clear that its policy of high value, low volume is the right policy because Bhutan is just too small for the mass tourism and as the world begins to discover the Land of Thunder Dragon, many go away with a sense of having been in a special place, far from the insanity of modern living. Here is a land where life may not be materially luxurious but it provides much that is good for a society that is not caught up the global rat race. As Bhutan steps into the 21st century, it is determined to keep its heritage, its spirit and its culture alive in a fast homogenizing world.

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