Nestled in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan is a small kingdom that has made sustainability a top priority in its approach to tourism. With its strict high value low impact tourism policy, Bhutan has set an example for the world in how to protect the environment and culture while still allowing visitors to experience the beauty and charm of the country.
Bhutan’s unique approach to tourism starts with limiting the number of visitors through a daily fee, which helps to ensure that only those who are truly interested in experiencing the country’s natural beauty and culture are allowed to enter. This fee also helps to fund conservation efforts and support local communities, ensuring that the benefits of tourism are spread evenly throughout the country.
One of the key aspects of Bhutan’s tourism policy is its commitment to protecting the environment. The country is carbon negative, meaning that it absorbs more carbon dioxide than it emits. This is largely due to Bhutan’s extensive forest cover, which makes up over 70% of the country’s land area. In addition, Bhutan has taken steps to reduce its carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy and promoting sustainable practices.
But Bhutan’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond just the environment. The country has also taken steps to protect its unique culture, which is deeply rooted in Buddhism and is evident in everything from its architecture to its festivals. Visitors are encouraged to respect local customs and traditions, and tourism is carefully managed to ensure that it does not have a negative impact on the country’s cultural heritage.
Overall, Bhutan’s approach to tourism serves as a shining example of how sustainable tourism can be achieved. By prioritizing the environment and culture, and by limiting the number of visitors and requiring a daily fee, Bhutan has found a way to balance the benefits of tourism with the need to protect its natural and cultural resources. It is a model that other countries can learn from as they seek to develop their own sustainable tourism policies.