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Promoting Tourism - Tourism industry initiative 2009

Response to expected slowdown of tourist arrival due to the global economic downturn

The growth of tourism worldwide has been affected by rising oil prices resulting in increase in transport costs, security concerns and the current economic downturn. Particularly, the growth in arrivals for the Asia-Pacific region since August 2008 was recorded at 4% well behind the 7% registered for the same period last year.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) predicts that this trend may continue in the short and medium term although international tourism has resisted the downturn better than the other economic sectors such as construction and or car manufacturing.

Against this backdrop consultations have been held between the Tourism Council of Bhutan, the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO), Drukair and the Hotel Association of Bhutan (HAB) to discuss suitable response(s) to the current global uncertainties.

The following measures have been agreed to in order to minimise the impact of the current situation on tourist arrivals to Bhutan:

1.The HAB will refrain from raising room tariffs in 2009.


2.Drukair will resume their low season discounts. Drukair also reduced the fuel surcharge by USD 3.00 from 17th December 2008.

To support the tourism industry initiative the government has approved the following measures:


1. The tariff revision to USD 250 will be deferred immediately till a later date that will be determined by the performance of the industry.


2. From the 1st of July 2009 a discount of USD 20 (peak months) and USD 15 (January, June & July) on the royalty will be given from the 9th night.

Source: Tourism Council of Bhutan, October 2009

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Change in Timing to visit Tashichhodzong
The Tourism Council of Bhutan informs all the tour operators that the timing for the visit to the Tashichhodzong by the touristshas been changed as follows:

1. Summer Timing - 1730 hours -1830 hours

2. Winter Timing - 1630 hours - 1730 hours

This has with reference to the Royal Bhutan Police letter Ref.No.RBP/HQs/VIP-security/TD-125/2009/168 dated 20th October, 2009.

Source: Tourism Council of Bhutan, October 2009

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