Why Bhutan is not a Travel Destination for the cheap backpackers


The Bhutanese Tourism Industry was first opened in 1974. Today although hydropower generates the highest revenue to the country, Tourism is Bhutan’s largest foreign exchange earner and second-largest source of revenue after hydropower.

Ever since the door opened to tourists the industry has created countless employment opportunities and generating additional revenue for the government like any other country in the world.

Magical thunderbolt in Bhutan

Bhutan is recognized around the world as an Exclusive Destination , a Global Hotspot,  and High-End travel destination for several reasons. The government is committed to building a sustainable tourism industry that is not only financially viable but also limits the negative cultural and environmental impacts commonly associated with the culture of mass tourism, the industry is guided by the policy of “High Value, Low Impact’ tourism.

Tsophu Lake near Jomolhari

Meaning Bhutan seeks to ensure that it attracts only the most discerning visitors with a deep respect for the culture,  values, traditions, and the natural environment.

According to some senior stakeholders, under the reign of the fourth King of Bhutan, amid the transition to modernization, the nation witnessed the flow of cheap travelers all across the country including our neighboring countries.

Therefore to discourage backpackers from entering the country, the philosophy of “High Value , Low Volume” has been coined. Besides the guiding philosophy, the tourists entering Bhutan are levied 250 $ per day.

With Thai Tourists

Not A Place for Backpacker

Unlike other countries, tourists cannot mingle or travel within the country without a guide. All the tourists who travel to Bhutan route in through tour operator. The cases are different compared to the regional tourists.

Regional tourists refer to nationals of India, Bangladesh, and the Maldives who are visiting Bhutan for leisure. To tackle down the issue of regional tourists, the government proposed to levy a daily sustainable development fee (SDF) of US$ 16.25 per regional tourist visiting Bhutan. 

Tourists arrive at Paro Airport

Prior to COVID19 National Lockdown, only 250$ USD paying tourists visit the country. For the regional tourists , at the entry point had need to produce the reservations of the accommodation when in Bhutan.

There is no Bed and Breakfast Service nor couch surfing trend for foreigners in Bhutan. However travelers aspiring to travel to Bhutan must consider traveling through travel agents to plan the the most memorable trip to Bhutan.  

Couch Surfing
Couch Surfing

Reasons why A Tourist Should consider traveling through Travel Agent 

If the tourists consider to travel through travel agents and tour operators, observers and travelers find 250$ USD worth the tariff. Once the tourist lands in Bhutan, he/she is welcomed by a professional guide. Paying USD 250$ cover up logistics, accommodation, and transportation.

To make the travel more exclusive, the travel agents also personalize and Trailor the travel itinerary depending upon their guest’s place of interests.

Neyleyla Pass in Bhutan

If the tourist wishes to experience the local Bhutanese lifestyle, there are homestays and farm stays accommodations approved by Bhutan Tourism Council. Travel agents will curate the itinerary accordingly. For those solo travelers, even if you are traveling through travel agents, given your condition to be alone of the time during your trip in Bhutan, the guides would respect your space.

Typical Bhutanese House in Central Bhutan

All you need to do is simply get connected to some of the best travel agents in Bhutan and experience Bhutan on your own terms post COVID19 . Its been almost a year since Bhutan last received tourists due to the pandemic, however we are hopeful that the aspiring traveller continue to keep Bhutan in your travel bucket list.

Meanwhile, landmarks and new tourism products are on revival , renovation and creation for you to experience.

Love from Bhutan and Your Denkars Getaway !

Tourists during Thimphu Tsechu
With my tourist friend from USA