• Rajesh Nambiar

Successful sustainable tourism policy of the world's happiest country, Bhutan.


Do you ever wonder why there is so much discussion on sustainable tourism? Where would it lead us if practiced in businesses, destinations or on personal level? Such are some common doubts that are usually overlooked in the routine practices. But if understood sooner, the future of any development would be on the path of stable growth. And Bhutan has proved it. From the beginning, when tourism was introduced in Bhutan in 1974, the country was aware of the fact that the resources required for tourism development are valuable. Unrestricted flow of tourists would negatively impact country's pristine environment. The country offered the best of the destination with a 'high value, low volume' policy. It has been the constant value that has been followed by government, private sector and quasi-autonomous bodies such as Bhutan Tourism Corporation. As a part of tourism policy, visitors have to pay Minimum Daily Package Price (MDPP) of USD $200 per person that includes USD $65 to Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) that goes to social welfare of the country. But this standard rate takes care of visitor's needs such as accommodation, travel and food of best quality.

From the recent annual report of 2017, Bhutan recorded constant growth in tourists annual arrival from 2012-2017.

Bhutanese have been following traditional values of valuing their culture and nature and that reflect in their policies as well. Sustainable approaches such as MDPP and SDF did not hinder the growth of their tourism sector. Rather, the country offered the best experiences, created employment opportunities, good education and health services and preserved their culture and environment.

Bhutan has proved to the world that practicing sustainable tourism on national level or even on organisational level would only lead to the growing path. Sustainable tourism is about providing the best that country can offer and preserving it at the same time.

Even if not on national level, we can always start practicing on a regional or organisational level.

At Provork, we guide on how to modify your existing tourism or travel business or develop a new one into a Sustainable model. That is, as we have seen, nothing but the biggest and the most important step towards better future. Contact us on we@provork.com to explore more growth opportunities and assure a long-lasting business in tourism.

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