Indian and Thai tourists top visitor’s list to Bhutan

Indian tourists were the dominant visitors last year according to the records maintained by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB). 62,129 Indian tourists arrived in the country, the highest number of tourist arrival.

Also last year, there were 12,105 Thai tourist arrivals in Bhutan, placing them in the second position. The tourist arrival from China also saw a record high at 8,111 placing them in the third position. There were 7,291 American tourists in Bhutan, placing them in the fourth position.  The fifth largest group of tourist in the country last year was the 2,971 tourists from Germany.


Tourist arrival by month

     2013      2014

January      4072      5319

February    5753       5249

March        10704    7769

April           11681    13155

May            12647    14265

June           9232       10281

July            4983       7999

August       7233       12385

September  9466       13043

October       20160    20679

November  10758    11264

December   9535       12072

Total          116224  133480


According to the record maintained by TCB, 133,480 tourists (international and regional) visited Bhutan in 2014 and 116,224 tourists visited Bhutan in 2013. The highest number of tourists arrived in October last year with 20,679 tourists. The same month in 2013 saw 20,160 tourists.

TCB spokesperson, Damcho Rinzin, said the trend of tourist arrivals is not stable as there are always the ups and downs. “As a national tourism organization there are two important things we are doing; we are inviting international media to come during the low seasons, like in December, January, February, June, July and August and write articles about how beautiful Bhutan is, and what you can do during the seasons,” Damcho Rinzin said.

He said having new tourism products, like the Takin festival and nomadic festival during the low season and hosting the international tour operators to make familiarization trips in Bhutan are the ways to promote and enhance the tourism sector.

He said, “The major activities in terms of promoting tourism in low season are the media, travel agent and creating new products to sell Bhutan, as not just seasonal destination but year round destination.” He added that targeting the right kind of tourists is very important.

In 2013, there were 52,789 international tourists in Bhutan, while 68,081 international tourists visited Bhutan in 2014 with 29 percent increase in the international tourists visiting Bhutan. The highest number of tourists visiting Bhutan was recorded in October with 10,772 international tourists in 2014 and 9,700 international tourists in October 2013. There was a slight decrease in the number of international tourist arrivals in February and March. 3,074 international tourists visited Bhutan in February 2014 while 3,134 international tourists visited in February 2013.

Records show that a total of 65,399 regional tourists visited Bhutan in 2014, while 63,426 regional tourists visited Bhutan in 2013 with 3.11 increases in the regional tourists visiting Bhutan in 2014 compared to 2013. The highest number of regional tourists at 9,944 was recorded in May last year and 9,293 regional tourist arrivals was recorded in October 2013, while there are slight decreases in the tourist arrival in February, March October, November last year. 2,619 regional tourists visited Bhutan in February 2013 while 2,173 regional tourists visited in February 2014.

International tourists are categorized as those who pay in USD and regional tourist are those from India, Bangladesh and Malaysia.

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