In a Dilemma

Bhutan, the Land of Gross National Hap­pi­ness, is in a bind over whether to pro­mote tourism and in­vite a neg­a­tive im­pact on its pris­tine eco­log­i­cal environment or to let the op­por­tu­nity go by.

Southasia - - Region - By Irsa Khan

Bhutan, a heaven on earth for tourists, has be­come one of the most ex­pen­sive hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions in the world and is pre­dicted to be even more costly in 2012.

This pris­tine Hi­malayan king­dom of snow-capped peaks and sa­cred val­leys pur­sues a pol­icy of “high-end, low-im­pact tourism,” in a de­lib­er­ate at­tempt to keep its environment in­tact from car­bon foot­print.

There­fore, for­eign tourists re- quired to book through li­censed tour op­er­a­tors, a min­i­mum high-sea­son price of 200 dol­lars per day per per­son for an all-in­clu­sive pack­age in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, food and trans­port is not sur­pris­ing at all.

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