Bhutan tourism policy for regional tourists will be passed by the Government very soon. So far we have policy for dollar paying tourists but we do not have Bhutan tourism policy for regional tourists. Regional tourists include Indians, Bangladeshis and Maldivian.
Without a proper Bhutan tourism policy for regional tourists the tourists from these three countries can visit Bhutan without a visa and can stay in any kind of hotels they like.
The number of regional tourists have been increasing exponantially over the years. Last year over 60,000 regional tourists visited but this year till may almost 50,000 regional tourists visit Bhutan. The number might further increase by the end of this year.
Without proper Bhutan tourism policy for the regional tourists the pressure is being felt lately. Most sightseeing places are over crowded and trash is a major problem. Most regional tourists bring their own vehicle and food. Some of the regional tourists have been seen camping out in open. Some of the sites where they camp or eat their food are strewn with paper plates and plastic bottles.
Bhutan is known for its high value and low volume tourism. With the number of regional tourists in each sightseeing place the dollar paying tourists might not be happy to visit Bhutan.
Bhutanese tour operators have suggested that there be a proper Bhutan tourism policy for the regional tourists before it spoils the brand image of high value and low volume tourism in Bhutan. This policy is not to restrict regional tourists but to properly manage the flow of regional tourists at any given time into the country. This policy is for the great benefit of the nation and for the sustainability of tourism in Bhutan.
Without a proper policy and being free visit any sightseeing places often unwanted things have happened with the regional tourists.
The Bhutanese tour operators have put forward few suggestions to frame the Bhutan tourism policy for the regional tourists.