Bhutan welcomes 25,000 tourists in Q1 2024, India emerges as top market – ET TravelWorld

Bhutan‘s tourism sector has witnessed a significant surge, with a record-breaking 25,003 guest arrivals recorded between January 01 and March 31, 2024. This figure marks a substantial leap from the 12,696 arrivals during the same period in 2023, showcasing a doubling in numbers.

Among the noteworthy statistics, March 2024 stood out as the third busiest month since the country’s reopening, with 14,822 arrivals. This remarkable growth indicates Bhutan’s increasing popularity as a tourist destination, especially in comparison to the pre-pandemic period.

The breakdown of visitors in 2024 reveals a diverse range of markets contributing to Bhutan’s tourism landscape. While 60 per cent of arrivals originated from India, the remaining 40 per cent came from various countries such as the US, China, the UK, Germany, Singapore, France, Italy, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, and Canada. Notably, the proportion of Indian tourists in March 2024 was 57 per cent, with international guests making up the remaining 43 per cent.

The growth rates in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023 showed significant increases across different countries. Indian tourists surged by 77 per cent, Americans by 97 per cent, and British guests by 84 per cent. Other notable increases included a 230 per cent rise from Japan, 325 per cent from Thailand, 256 per cent from Singapore, 46 per cent from Australia, and 74 per cent from Canada. European countries also contributed to the surge, with Swiss visitors growing by 134 per cent, Italians by 297 per cent, Dutch by 127 per cent, Spaniards by 165 per cent, Germans by 184 per cent, French by 300 per cent, and Belgians by 493 per cent. These figures underscore Bhutan’s growing global appeal and its ability to attract a diverse range of visitors.

Tourism in New South Wales soars, exceeds $50 billion in visitor expenditure

Notably, New South Wales welcomed the highest number of international visitors, accumulated the most visitor nights, and boasted the highest visitor expenditure nationwide. The international segment contributed a substantial USD 11 billion to the visitor economy. Additionally, NSW experienced the most substantial growth in international visitor numbers, nights, and expenditure among all states and territories, with an increase of 1.8 million visitors, 42.8 million nights, and USD 6 billion in expenditure.

Carissa Nimah, Chief Marketing Officer, Department of Tourism, attributed the substantial increase in guest arrivals to various factors. The reduction in the Sustainable Development Fee to USD 100 per night made visiting Bhutan more accessible. Furthermore, extensive promotional efforts and media coverage have raised global awareness about Bhutan, contributing to the surge in tourist numbers.Nimah also highlighted Bhutan’s recognition as a ‘must-visit’ destination in 2024 by numerous prestigious publications, which has significantly boosted the country’s profile and visitor numbers. By targeting a wider audience and promoting Bhutan as an attractive destination year-round, the tourism industry has set a promising trajectory for the upcoming year.

It’s important to note that the data provided by Bhutan’s Department of Immigration includes only guests entering the country as tourists, excluding those in other categories. This surge in tourism numbers reflects Bhutan’s enduring allure and the success of its tourism promotion strategies on a global scale.

  • Published On Apr 4, 2024 at 09:24 AM IST

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