Bhutan at a Glance
7º – 20º C
100 – 7550
meters above sea level
meters above sea level
The term “Gross National Happiness” was coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s fourth King, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who opened Bhutan to the age of modernization soon after the demise of his father, Late Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the third hereditary monarch. He used this phrase to signal his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. The concept of Gross National Happiness consists of four pillars: equitable socio-economic development (better education and health); conservation and promotion of a vibrant culture; environmental protection; and good governance. The Tourism Policy of the Royal Government of Bhutan is based on a concept of “High Value & Low Impact”. Founded on the principle of sustainability, tourism must be environmentally friendly, socially and culturally acceptable, and economically viable. Minimum tariff for tourist visiting in groups of 3 persons or more are as follows:
A unique approach to national and global development — GrossNational Happiness is a holistic and sustainable approach to development which balances between material and non-material values. The objective of Gross National Happiness is to achieve a balanced development in all aspects of life which is indispensable to our happiness. The goal of Gross National Happiness is to achieve ‘Gross Happiness’. One of several means to achieve this goal is sustainable economic growth.
The four pillars are further elaborated into nine domains: psychological well-being; living standard; health; culture; education; community vitality; good governance; balanced time use and ecological integration. In accordance with these nine domains, Bhutan has developed 38 sub-indexes, 72 indicators and 151 variables that are used to define and analyze the happiness of the Bhutanese people.
Tourists are kept to a manageable level through a government regulated tourist tariff. This all inclusive tariff covers all food, accommodation (excluding resorts such as Aman Kora, Taj Tashi, Uma Paro and Zhiwa Ling), transport and guide services. A portion of the tariff (currently 35%) helps to sustain the provision of free medical care and education for everyone in the country. All tour operators are subject to this all inclusive rate.
Bhutan Journeys is a licensed tour operator as certified by the Tourism Council of Bhutan, and the Association of Bhutanese Tourism Operators.
Tourists can book a package holiday to Bhutan through both International and Bhutanese tour operators. Information is available from travel agencies. The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan and this must be paid in US dollars prior to your arrival in Bhutan.
High Season Tariff – US$ 250 per person per night halt in Bhutan.
Low Season Tariff – US$ 200 per person per night halt.
The concept of Gross National Happiness consists of four pillars: equitable socio-economic development (better education and health); conservation and promotion of a vibrant culture; environmental protection; and good governance.
The Tourism Policy of the Royal Government of Bhutan is based on a concept of “High Value & Low Impact”. Founded on the principle of sustainability, tourism must be environmentally friendly, socially and culturally acceptable, and economically viable.
Minimum tariff for tourist visiting in groups of 3 persons or more are as follows:
The country was originally known by many names in the past. These names give some description of the country, for instance: Ridragi Yuel (the country of mountainous terrain), Menjong Norbui Ling (the precious land of medicinal herbs), Tsenden Jong (land of cypress) and Mon Kha Zhi (land of four approaches). The country came to be known as Druk Yul or The Land of the Drukpas sometime in the 17th century. The name refers to the Drukpa sect of Buddhism that has been the dominant religion in the region since that period. For the outside world, the country is known as Bhutan which may have been derived from theSanskrit word Bhu-uttan, meaning high land.
After the establishment of monarchy, Bhutan enjoyed unprecedented peace, prosperity and progress under the able and benevolent leadership of the Wangchuck kings. In retrospect, no better choice could have been made for the leadership of the country than the Wangchuck dynasty.
However, in 2008 Bhutan enacted its Constitution and transformed to a democracy in order to better safeguard the rights of its citizens. Later in November of the same year, the current monarch, the 5th Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned.Buddhism was introduced in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo and further strengthened by the arrival of Guru Rimpoche in 8thcentury BC. The country was first unified in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. After arriving in Bhutan from Tibet, he consolidated his power, defeated three Tibetan invasions and established a comprehensive system of law and governance. His system of rule eroded after his death and the country fell into in-fighting and civil war between the various local rulers. This continued until the Trongsa Poenlop Ugyen Wangchuck was able to gain control and with the support of the people to establish himself as Bhutan’s first hereditary King in 1907. His Majesty Ugyen Wangchuck became the first Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) and set up the Wangchuck Dynasty that still rules today.
PO box 1615: Thimphu, Bhutan
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