International tourist arrivals earn US$ 48.7mn till September this year
The tourism industry in the country earned around US$ 48.7mn revenue from international or dollar paying tourist arrivals till September this year.
According to the Royal Monetary Authority’s (RMA) recent monthly statistical bulletin, there has been a steady increase in revenue from dollar-paying tourists along with increase in visitors annually.
A total of 37,994 international or dollar paying tourists arrived till September. April and May recorded the highest revenue with US$ 11.5mn and US$ 10.2mn respectively.
Tourism earnings in 2013 stood at US$ 63.5mn and increased to US$ 73.2mn in 2014 whereas it decreased in 2015 to US$ 71.2mn. Last year recorded the highest revenue with US$ 79mn earnings from 62,349 international tourists.
Similarly, international tourists increased steadily from 44,281 in 2013 to 62,349 tourists last year.
International tourists pay a daily minimum tariff of US$ 250 and US$ 200 during the peak and lean seasons respectively.
Tourism Council of Bhutan officials attributed the increase in revenue mainly to the increase in arrivals, while tour operators said the dollar exchange rate also attributed to it. Some tour operators attributed it to the change in the daily minimum tariff since 2012, which was revised from US$ 200 and US$ 180 for peak and lean seasons respectively.
Tourist arrivals in Bhutan increased to 3,301 in August from 2,759 in July as of 2018. Tourist arrivals averaged 3,789.19 from 2009 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 11,277 in June of 2011 and a record low of 459 in September of 2013.
As per records with TCB, 62,349 international visitors came last year, including visitors for meeting, incentives, conferences, exhibitions and media familiarization tours.
The national airlines, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines also offered about discount on airfare, while hotels provided concession on the rates.
As per the Visitor Arrival Statistics report of 2017, a total of 254,704 visitors arrived in Bhutan with a growth rate of 21.5% over 2016. Of the total arrivals, there were 71,417 international arrivals and 183,287 regional arrivals. The international arrivals recorded a growth of 14.1% and 24.9% for regional arrivals.
In 2017, the total tourism receipt from the international leisure segment generated
US$ 79.807mn of which US$ 22.361mn was direct revenue for the government through Sustainable Development Fee.
The majority of international arrivals to Bhutan has used air as their mode of transport to enter and exit Bhutan while majority of regional arrivals used land. 85% of the total visitors visited Bhutan for leisure / holiday purpose.
India continues to be main source market in terms of visitor arrivals. For the international segment USA, UK, Germany, China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand continues to be our consistent source markets. The Bhutan – Korea friendship offer resulted in increased arrivals from South Korea propelling it into the top 10 source markets for Bhutan in 2017.