Tourism in Bhutan

Tourism began in the country since 1974. It was introduced with the primary objective of generating revenue, especially foreign exchange; publicizing the country's unique culture and traditions to the outside world, and to contribute to the country's socio-economic development. The royal government has always been aware that an unrestricted flow of tourists can have negative impacts on Bhutan's pristine environment and its rich and unique culture. The government, therefore, adopted a policy of "high value-low volume" tourism, controlling the type and quantity of tourism right from the start.
The government privatized tourism in October 1991 to encourage private sector participation in the tourism sector. There is no quota or limit on the number of tourists allowed to visit Bhutan. Rather the volume of tourists coming to the country has been constricted by the capacity constraints of tourism infrastructure. Today the policy is revised as "high value-low impact”. The tourism industry has made significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the country, especially after the privatization of the industry in 1991.FIG: View of Mt.Everest from the flight between Kathmandu to Bhutan 


All tourists must obtain a visa clearance prior to travel to Bhutan.  Visas are processed through an online system by your licensed Bhutanese tour operator, directly. You are required to send the photo page of your passport to your tour operator who will then apply for your visa.  The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) once the full payment of your holiday (including a USD $40 visa fee) has been wire transferred and received in the TCB bank account.  Upon realization of payment, the visa clearance will be processed within 72 working hours. At your point of entry you will be required to show your visa clearance letter, the visa will then be stamped into your passport. The policy of ‘high-value low impact’ tourism is best supported by the system set by the government all-inclusive of a minimum daily tariff.

Getting in Bhutan 

Getting in Bhutan is easier than you may think; the most common entry point is from Kathmandu Nepal. The reasons why most travellers choose Kathmandu are:
  1. There is a direct flight from Kathmandu to Paro (Bhutan) on daily basis by Druk Air, the national airline of Bhutan and 4 flights a week by Bhutan airline.  Because most travellers consider Kathmandu as their entry port to Paro, the flight to Paro is comparatively cheaper.
  2. Flying this route is a lifetime experience you will never forget.  You will be rewarded with a magnificent view of 8 of the highest peaks on Earth including Mt Everest, cascading ranges, hundreds of other peaks, mountain valleys, pastureland, lakes to soft mountains towards the eastern ranges of Himalayas.
  3.  Easy and faster visa processing without 100% down payment in advance through our Nepal Bhutan travel agency, unlike most of the Bhutan travel agencies who will ask for 100% package payment in advance due to their government policies. 
  4. "Kill two bird with one stone" Over 95% tourist who makes Kathmandu as their transit point to travel to Paro-Bhutan also have the opportunity to see the country “Nepal” at the same time.
  5. Dear readers, Let us know in the comment section below if we missed anything in this list, which makes Nepal as a great transit point before travelling Bhutan?.  

However, Bhutan can also be entered by direct flights from Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Dhaka, Bangkok, and Singapore Changi Airport (as well as a few other smaller cities in India).  It is also possible to drive into Bhutan from India, but the flight is the most common and stress-free mode of entering Bhutan. 


Off Season: December, January, February, June, July & August
High Season: March, April, May, September, October & November

Package Cost

Tariff in Bhutan is based on a daily basis irrespective of any activities you chose or any itinerary you choose. NO HIDDEN COST AND EXTRA TAXT
Season 1 Pax 2 Pax 3 Pax & Above
Low season $ 240 (200 + 40) $ 230 (200 + 30) $ 200
High season $ 290 (250 + 40) $ 280 (250 + 30) $ 250

The minimum daily package covers the following services.
  • A standard 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide for the extent of your stay.
  • All internal road transport (excluding internal flights)
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours 
  • All internal taxes and charges
(A sustainable development fee of $65, retained by Tourism Corporation of Bhutan. This goes towards free education, free healthcare, poverty alleviation, along with the building of the infrastructure of the country)

About Padam Bhadur Chuwan

Padam Bhadur Chuwan Padam Bdr Chuwan, served the govt and various other development partner agency(s) as a civil engineer in Bhutan.  Trekking has always been a part of my life and works perhaps because of the rural childhood and foundation. I am being referred to as a dictionary for hikes around Bhutan. I was also assigned to trail design of campsites to the remote but ultimate trekking destination “Merak-Sakteng” located in the northeast Bhutan. Talking about trekking, I am a regular trekker myself whenever I have free time.  Drukpath has been introduced to me by the same man who supervised the construction of the trail when Bhutan opened up for tourism in the 70s. My quest for adventure in the Himalayas finally turned to take me to the exotic and ultimate destinations like Everest base camp, Manaslu Circuit and Annapurna circuit etc. in Nepal. Semi-retired now from the long associated professional service, it is an adventure once again to be associated with NEST Adventure and their Team of tourism experts from Kathmandu as their associate based in Thimphu at WOW-Bhutan Travels . If you think we can be helpful planning your trip to Bhutan, then do not hesitate to contact us. at
3 + 8 = ?

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- Priya Singh

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