Why is Bhutan expensive?

05 December 2013
Why is Bhutan expensive? Anand Thapa

One of our past guests summed up it well. “I got much more than what I paid. It was trip of my lifetime; it took me lot of planning, saving and time to replace fear of unknown with curiosity. Keeping aside the materialist perspective, the deeper dimension of life it added in terms of peace, calm and harmony that I experienced was simply priceless. Though I go back poorer with few thousand dollars, but more rich and enriched in terms of experiences and perspective. Inspiring to do what I do best- planning, saving for the next visit”.
Many times it has been asked and lot has been said online. It gave birth to many myths and preconceived idea about Bhutan. These ideas flying around have label Bhutan synonymous with expensive destination to visit. Is it really so?
It’s time to give these myths a decent burial. First of all let’s start with the Bhutan government perceptions. It all started 30 or more years ago with the concept of “High yield and low impact tourism”. In retrospect, it looks now more in line with widely acclaimed “Gross National Happiness”. Out of four pillars that Gross National Happiness is based on Tourism structurally find two to support on – Conservation of natural environment and preservation and practice of tradition and culture, which is unique and extraordinary in its own way. And initiative and measures are need of the hour to preserve these cultural heritages and tradition in this fast changing modern world.
It might appear expensive when per night cost become visible. The Bhutanese Government has imposed an ‘all inclusive’ nightly tariff structure. In our 15 years’ experience we regularly receive comments from returning visitors on how great the ‘value for money’ genuinely is. If taken under consideration that every guest has access to a private guide, chauffeur, private foreign vehicle and a land package including all meals, accommodation as strictly prescribed by Tourism Council of Bhutan, sightseeing, entry fees, transfers, taxes, government royalties & visa fees it is indeed excellent value for money. One thing that can be frightening at time is the airfare if you are travelling from North America, Europe or far off places.
One thing that might come in forefront is lack of choice in term of lower tariff packages, which doesn’t fit into canvass as painted by Bhutan government as most of the infrastructures are moulded in order to cater to the guests who can pay the stipulated amount.
Even the most seasoned travellers consider a privilege to visit. It is voted as world’s top travel destination and in bucket list in every enthusiast travellers. This is land of Thunder Dragon – Bhutan.
Going by the feed backs and comments from past guests, believe us!!! It’s worth every penny, emotions and feelings. An odyssey into the land least affected by time and its furies and surreal ambiance of culture, tradition and natural beauty.