Flocks of tourists are visiting Bhutan! In Bhutan though… ‘flocks’ is a relative measure…
In 2011, some 64 000 international travelers entered the Kingdom of Bhutan, and while this represents an increase of around 60% from the previous year, when compared to the top ranking tourism destination (France with about 80 Million tourists in 2011), this is just a mere fraction. For many, the lack of foreigners is part of the country’s appeal, but this isolation comes with a price tag- a USD 200-250 minimum tourism tariff per person, per day.
While many see this as prohibitively expensive, if you actually compare that rate to the cost of a day in Paris, I would argue that it’s really not a bad deal. You would be very hard pressed to find a hotel in Paris for under 100 Euro per night, a dinner for less than 30 Euro per person, and add to that the cost of a personal airport pick-up, a personal driver, a professional guide, and entrances to the various sites and museums. Deduct from that the pain of thousands of tourists crowding around the same attraction, endless lines, and pollution (because we know that pollution comes at a cost). Add to that the health benefit of a multi day trek, and the ultimate relaxation from being surrounded by peaceful mountains.
So, at least according to our math, the benefits of a trip to Bhutan far outweighed the cost.
There are plenty or resource online that can help you plan your journey, whether it be a trekking holiday, or a cultural tour to visit the country’s monasteries and temples. Most information can be found on the official government website, Tourism Council of Bhutan. And just from our personal experience… we had a great trip with Bhutan Mountain Holiday.