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HomeStatistics & TrendsBhutan’s tourist arrivals double in the first quarter of 2024

Bhutan’s tourist arrivals double in the first quarter of 2024

The Black-necked Crane Festival at Gangtey Monastery

Bhutan sees a significant increase in tourist arrivals, doubling in Q1 2024, with a diverse international visitor base.

NEW YORK – Guest arrivals to the Kingdom of Bhutan doubled in the first quarter of 2024 year-over-year. Between January 1 and March 31, 2024, Bhutan welcomed more international travelers than during the same time last year, increasing more than 100%. With 14,822 arrivals, March 2024 was the third busiest month for tourism to Bhutan since the country’s post-pandemic re-opening, following May 2023 (16,609 arrivals), and October 2023 (16,465 arrivals).

The breakdown of visitors in 2024 shows that 60% originated from India, with the remaining 40% traveling to Bhutan from a diverse set of markets, including the US, UK, China, Germany, Singapore, France, Italy, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia and Canada. Growth rates in Q1 2024 versus Q1 2023 varied notably across different countries: Indian tourists increased by 77%, Americans by 105% and British guests by 84%.

The 97% increase in guest arrivals to Bhutan from January to March 2024, compared to the same period last year, can be attributed to several reasons. Firstly, the reduction in the Sustainable Development Fee to USD 100 per night made visiting Bhutan more affordable. Additionally, there has been a substantial increase in global awareness about Bhutan among potential guests and global travel agents, thanks to concerted promotional efforts from the whole industry, and extensive media coverage. These efforts have steadily gained traction because Bhutan is not a short-haul destination for most guests – it takes time to research, plan and book a trip to the kingdom. So, the results of the tourism industry’s hard work from the last year are now paying dividends,” said Carissa Nimah, Chief Marketing Officer of the Department of Tourism.

Bhutan being listed as a ‘must visit’ place in 2024 in many of the world’s top publications has helped raise our profile and bring in more visitors. We’ve also targeted a wider range of people and new markets around the world. By promoting Bhutan as a great to visit any time of year, not just in certain seasons, it all helps. The numbers are really promising with a good trajectory, and we look forward to a strong tourism year,” Nimah concluded.

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