Today: November 27, 2015, 4:31 pm

Bhutan tourism market reported strong growth in visitor numbers in 2012
Travel and Tourism in Bhutan - a new market research report on 2014-04-02 11:01:03
Travel and tourism grows due to strong increase in arrivals in 2012. Arrivals into Bhutan showed strong growth in 2012. Indian tourists remained the key international arrivals, thanks to the number of schedule and charter flights, as well as a good land transportation service, which is frequently used by Indian tourists visiting the country. Non-Indian arrivals in 2012 were driven by Asian countries like Japan and China whilst European tourists from the UK, Germany and France are also significant.

Local operators dominate travel and tourism. Travel and tourism in Bhutan is still occupied by local companies as they are more familiar with the country than foreign companies. Bhutan government has been trying to encourage foreign investment in Bhutan, focusing on attracting foreign investors to open high-end or luxury-style businesses, such as 5-star hotels. The key player in the transportation is the national airline such as Druk Air.

Online sales show good growth but remain small. Online services have been introduced in various categories, such as car rental, hotels, travel retail and air transportation. Online sales showed healthy growth rates in every category in 2012 in current value terms, but continued to account for small shares of overall sales. The government and Tourism Council of Bhutan have attempted to promote online services in order to boost their popularity as the internet is seen as a key way of encouraging international tourists to actually visit Bhutan.

Paro remains the only international airport, whereas Druk Air opens new routes. Paro is the only international airport in Bhutan and it remains to be the key entrance especially for non-regional tourists meaning those who do not enter Bhutan from India, Bangladesh and Maldives. Buddha Air ceased operations in 2011 due to heavy losses, making Druk Air as the remaining schedule airline. Druk Air introduced new routes from Singapore and Mumbai in September 2012 in order to attract more Asian and European visitors to Bhutan. These new routes are the extension of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Thailand routes that Druk Air operated before.

Bhutan is expected to welcome more arrivals and grow its travel and tourism industry in a sustainable way. The Tourism Council of Bhutan and the government aim to continue to make all non-regional tourists pay a minimum daily charge of US$250 or US$200 per day depending on time period of year for their visits over the forecast period. This is likely to result in only better-off tourists who can afford to pay the charges visiting Bhutan. The country is keen to welcome more international tourists in the future, but it wants to develop a travel and tourism industry that will protect both the environment and the country´s natural resources. Air transportation will continue to be dominated by Druk Air. Car rental will continue to be run by local operators, and local and traditional hotels will continue to be promoted.

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