In­ter­na­tional tourist ar­rivals earn US$ 48.7mn till Septem­ber this year

Business Bhutan - - Nation -

Tsh­er­ing

from Thim­phu

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.

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