Phurpa Lhamo

Bhutan’s tourism policy, as a sustainable tourism practice, was selected to be presented on January 11 at the World Expo 2020 that is underway in Dubai, United Arabs Emirates.

Tourism Council of Bhutan’s (TCB) director general Dorji Dradhul talked about Bhutan’s tourism policy of ‘high value, low volume’ as a sustainable tourism model guided by the development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH).

The discussion was virtually telecast on social media platforms.

Dorji Dradhul said that the tourism policy was far-sighted, crediting its success to the visionary Kings. “Our policy is grounded in our development policy of GNH.”

Dorji Dradhul interpreted the tourism policy as offering an unforgettable experience to the tourists, while also regulating the number of tourists visiting Bhutan.

“Space is at a premium everywhere and Bhutan realised that long ago, and prefers to cater to those who value it over those who take it for granted. The policy has been beyond revenue and receipts.”

“For Bhutan, the tourism tagline is ‘Happiness is a place.’ But with the pandemic, we are also saying that happiness isn’t only a place but happiness is a space. Whether it is a physical space or a frame of mind, Bhutan tourism offers that space and a place,” Dorji Dradhul said.

Dorji Dradhul also talked about Bhutan’s minimum daily package rate of USD 250, which includes a USD 65 sustainable development fee.

He added that the daily package included a minimum of three-star accommodation and meals, a guide, and dedicated ground transport.

Bhutan is participating in the World Expo for the first time, along with more than 190 countries.

The Expo has been an opportunity for Bhutan to showcase and promote Bhutanese products in the international market.

Bhutanese textiles, handicrafts, performing arts, an art exhibition, and movie screening, were featured at the Expo.

The World Expo, which is organised once every five years, began on October 1 last year and will end on March 31.