Bhutan tourism continues to rise

Bhutan welcomed 133,480 international travellers in 2014
Bhutan welcomed 133,480 international travellers in 2014

Bhutan continued to emerge on the Asian tourism scene in 2014, as the country recorded a double-digit increase in visitor arrivals.

The Himalayan kingdom attracted 133,480 international travellers last year, and while that may be only a small fraction of its neighbours, it marks a 15% jump compared to 2013. Of this total, more than half (68,081) were Indian travellers.

And Bhutan is aiming to drive even more visitor arrivals this year, following the launch of the ‘Visit Bhutan 2015’ campaign. Initiated by the Tourism Council of Bhutan, the tourism drive is running under the theme ‘Celebrate Happiness’, and is being promoted in key source markets including India and Southeast Asia.

“We believe in a sustainable approach to growth and development of the tourism industry in Bhutan,” explained Damcho Rinzim, head of the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s marketing & promotion division.  “Our destination offers tremendous potential as an indigenous industry with clear comparative advantages which are compelling reasons to promote Bhutan as a high-end tourist destination.

“International travellers to Bhutan are lured by the myriad of offerings that include heritage, culture, natural beauty and a range of quality world class hospitality and tourism industry,” he added.

Bhutan’s national carrier, Drukair, serves as the main international link for the landlocked, mountainous country, offering flights to cities including Bangkok, Delhi, Dhaka, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Mumbai and Singapore, while Bhutan Airlines (Tashi Air) flies daily from Kolkata to Paro.

Meanwhile several international hotel groups, including Starwood and Best Western, are planning to launch hotels in Bhutan.

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