Bhutan has adopted a different destination strategy altogether that gives top prominence to its environmental sustainability and happiness of its citizens. The ‘Gross National Happiness ‘is being the guiding philosophy based on sustainable economic development, conservation of the environment, preservation of culture and good governance with the consent of the King.
Damcho Rinzin, Head of Tourism Promotion Division, Bhutan, explained that respecting the carrying capacity of its eco-system is one of the top most priorities as is ensuring that the discerning traveller visiting Bhutan has the best possible experience. It was said by Rinzin ”Planning the itinerary in the best possible manner with help of local stakeholders is one of the best possible way to ensure that the tourists derive the best memorable experience. Now, with the regional tourists able to obtain their entry permit clearances and route permits before their arrival in Bhutan, it is easier for Indians and others to make a well planned itinerary.
On January 2017, the Department of Immigration under the Home and Cultural Affairs Ministry and Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) launched the Online Permit System. Whereas for online services, tourists will no longer have to wait in queue to obtain permit clearances. The facility will help to reduce processing time and enhancing smooth visitation by the tourists, which was otherwise was a big dampener and curtailed tourists ability to experience the best Bhutan of Bhutan and its pristine natural glory.
Rinzin also explained “apart from saving time, tourists will now not have to stand in queue to get permits at the immigration offices. Services can be availed through registered tour operators and TCB certified hotels that are registered on the system. Tourists just need to give their biometric information at the entry point. The facility is also on trial for three months and will be applicable from entry points of Paro and Phuntshogling.”
Therefore, with the registered tour operators system and TCB certified hotels will provide services such as licensed guide, transportation, minimum three-star accommodation facility among others. According to Rinzin, rich culture and witness wide spread travel attractions in Bhutan will allow especially Indians to manage further in depth experience of the pristine nature.