Bhutan is a green sustainable destination for tourists because of its emphasis on sustainable tourism to preserve the natural environment and the culture and traditions of the Bhutanese people.
Tourism, as we know, enables us to travel to unique locations, interact with people from various backgrounds, and take part in new cultures and traditions.
But all these exciting experiences come with a cost that destroys a country’s identity and natural environment.
Implementing a strict tourism policy aligned with Gross National Happiness (GNH) is an important step for Bhutan as it re-opens its borders to tourists on 23rd September 2022
This new policy helps Bhutan preserve its natural and cultural heritage, enhances citizens’ well-being, and provides travelers with an authentic experience.
In this blog, Norbu Bhutan Travel Pvt. Ltd. will provide an in-depth idea to understand why Bhutan is a green sustainable destination for tourists.
A Brief On Bhutan’s Sustainable Tourism Development Policy
One of the main concerns in the modern world is sustainable development in the tourism sector, and many countries are attempting to concentrate on that with strategies to overcome the impacts of mass tourism.
However, Bhutan’s tourism strategy strongly emphasizes sustainable development to protect the country’s natural and cultural assets and increase the prosperity of the citizens, which is the general philosophy behind Gross National Happiness (GNH).
Since tourism is one of the main drivers of Bhutan’s economy, the Government of Bhutan has already made numerous initiatives to grow the sector and make Bhutan a green sustainable destination for tourists.
Why Is Bhutan A Green Sustainable Destination For Tourists?
- Bhutan Follows Sustainable Tourism Development Policy
Gross National Happiness is supported by four pillars: good governance, sustainable socioeconomic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation.
Bhutan is the only country that measures citizens’ happiness and well-being first rather than GDP (Gross Domestic Products).
Sustainable Socio-Economic Development was added as one of the pillars of Gross National Happiness when it was first established in 1972.
The Bhutanese government has implemented this policy to offer a green sustainable destination for tourists that also helps the country preserve its historical places, local culture, customs, and natural resources.
- High Value, Low Impact Tourism Policy For A Green Sustainable Destination For Tourists
The government charges USD 200 to USD 250 per person per day for international visitors to minimize low spending, high impact tourists who often leave a larger carbon footprint and have a more significant environmental impact.
This includes raising the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) from USD 65 to USD 200, directly supporting the country’s social welfare programs.
This High-Value, Low Impact Tourism strategy allows Bhutan to gradually open up to the outside world, establish a green sustainable destination for tourists, and control the flow of tourists into the country considerably.
- Bhutan Encourages Locally Made Handicrafts
The Tourism Council of Bhutan encourages locals to showcase their handmade crafts
through numerous festivals with minimal usage of natural resources that hamper the environment.
These festivals encourage local people to preserve their distinct handcrafts, generate income, and make Bhutan a green sustainable destination for tourists.
If you want to participate in these festivals, you can book the special tours package with us to experience them hands-on.
- Bhutan Banned The Usage Of Plastics
Bhutan has prohibited plastic bags nationwide as of April 1, 2019, because plastic is one of the leading causes of waste in the nation. Both visitors and locals are encouraged to be plastic-free.
The government charges Nu. 500 to those using plastic bags, and local vendors and store owners will have their business licenses revoked if plastic bags are found in use at their business.
The government encourages the usage of bio-degradable bags to minimize waste in the country and imposes strict laws for tourists and locals if found littering.
Doing this helps Bhutan become a green sustainable destination for tourists.
Points To Remember:
- The prevalence of pre-packaged goods has contributed to Bhutan’s growing litter problem.
- The government has started the Clean Bhutan project, which aims to use volunteers to clean up streams, trekking routes, villages, and towns.
- Travelers are encouraged to avoid purchasing food from stores that come in plastic bags or take plastic packaged goods while sightseeing or trekking as much as possible.
- Try to bring an empty bag on hikes so you can pick up after yourself and bring particularly harmful waste, such as batteries, back home with you.
These are all ways to reduce your waste and help Bhutan achieve a green sustainable destination for tourists.
- Known For Conservation of Flora and Fauna
Bhutan’s constitution mandates that at least 60% of the land must be covered with forests at all times.
The nation’s 71 percent forest cover at present has contributed to its status as the only carbon-negative nation in the world and a green sustainable destination for tourists.
The policy to conserve Bhutan’s natural resources also assists in reducing carbon emissions globally.
Additionally, Bhutan has many protected places, including 5 National Parks and 5 Sanctuaries that safeguard numerous animal species, including the Red Panda, Bengal Tiger, Black Naked Crane, Snow Leopard, and many others.
Although the government permits access to certain protected areas, tourists and locals are not allowed to go hunting, fishing, poaching, or chopping down trees.
- Received An Earth Award
Bhutan received the Earth Award on March 7, 2018, during an ITB (Internationale Tourismus Börse) Berlin, Germany ceremony.
Bhutan was chosen as one of the top 100 green sustainable destination for tourists by a jury of representatives from the industry’s major agencies and networks.
The award program was established to recognize and honor travel destinations that try to control “mass tourism” and their dedication to the growth and promotion of a green sustainable destination for tourists.
Key Takeaway Of Bhutan Being a Green Sustainable Destination For Tourists
Bhutan is in a fortunate position in tourism.
In a world where natural resources are destroyed regularly, Bhutan’s prestigious natural environment and culture are well maintained with various strategies to maximize sustainability.
The world praises the nation’s policy of prioritizing environmental and cultural preservation and has raised Bhutan’s profile as a top green sustainable destination for tourists.
Tourism in Bhutan has also been a self-financing mechanism for promoting the country’s environment and facilitating awareness and understanding of the uniqueness of this country; that also helps promote Bhutan as a green sustainable destination for tourists.
Although tourism has had certain adverse effects, the Government of Bhutan is aware that these issues must be addressed.
So, it encourages local people, artists, constructors, engineers, and architects to develop the tourism sectors in a way where there is none to less destruction of natural resources and more conservation.
Bhutan’s tourism industry was founded on the principle of manageability, which states that it must be socially and environmentally acceptable, commercially viable, and naturally and aesthetically appealing to promote a green sustainable destination for tourists.
Bhutan aspires to be a country that sets an example to the world of following sustainable development at all costs.
The GNH theory states that sustainable development is more important than GDP.
By enforcing a “high value, low effect” policy, it is evident that the sustainability guideline will penetrate all the reasoning on the nation’s future development.
Bhutan’s pristine environment and cultural preservation reflect its sustainable development, which presents as a green sustainable destination for tourists worldwide.
If you want to know more about traveling to Bhutan, read Travel Information for visiting Bhutan in 2022 to stay updated!