Destination Stewardship – Bhutan May Be The Kingdom of Tomorrow

When it comes to conscious travel in Asia, the first country to spring to mind just might be Bhutan.

Why? Because this tiny kingdom nation high in the Eastern Himalayas is home to a people who value happiness and sustainability over profit. Where most nations value their worth based on GDP (Gross Domestic Product), Bhutan has a GDH as their measuring stick of societal success. What’s GDH? … It stands for Gross Domestic Happiness 🙂

The country’s conscious approach to tourism follows a low-impact-high value model. This effectively limits the number and quality of tourists annually, and also requires a high daily price-point per visitor (see minimum daily packages below). The approach has kept Bhutan from facing what so many other of its neighbors have gone through: rampant tourism venues without regard to the environment, or quality of life of the people.

Beyond the Backpacker Trail

In fact, thanks to their conscious efforts, much of what makes Bhutan so appealing is the fact that it still is Bhutan – and not another tourist trap or backpacker stop along the Asia Circuit. And now the world is starting to notice. In fact, the Tourism Council of Bhutan has recently been selected as one of three finalists in the “Destination Stewardship” category for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The awards, hosted by the World Travel & Tourism Council, recognizes a destination annually for “successfully demonstrates a program of sustainable tourism, while incorporating social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits.”

About Bhutan

Ensuring the happiness of its 750,000 citizens is a-priori for Bhutan’s development initiatives. The kingdom is also known as The Land of the Thunder Dragon and is one of the last bio-diversity hot spots in the world. In fact, 72{12cc8fe0372f5298363c9e4058f06d2213b485e62f0b8c47cbed5d8de8bb446c} of the country covered by forest, with a whopping 60{12cc8fe0372f5298363c9e4058f06d2213b485e62f0b8c47cbed5d8de8bb446c} of the total land area deemed protected. No surprise that this makes Bhutan home to some of the world’s more rare (and sometimes endangered) flora and fauna. In other words, for environmentalists, this is a dream come true!

Minimum Daily Package

  • Minimum of 3-star accommodation
  • All meals
  • A licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide for the extent of the stay
  • All internal transport
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A royalty of $65 which goes toward free education, free healthcare and poverty alleviation

Minimum Daily Rates

For a group of 3 or more people:

  • USD $200 per person per night (January, February, June, July, August and December).
  • USD $250 per person per night (March, April, May, September, October and November).

Want more info? Check directly with the Tourism Council of Bhutan

Have you been to Bhutan? We haven’t yet but have it in our radar! If you’ve got stories to share about your experience in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, please tell us below!




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