A passionate traveler, I went to Bhutan as a volunteer and felt in love with the country and its people. My work there was with the government tourism office where I came in close contact with the tourism policy of the country. Since 1974 Bhutan has been doing what according to me is as close as you can get to “sustainable tourism”. Yes, there are a few things that still need to be fine-tuned, but that is what happens when you take the lead, take risks and do things your way.
This is the case with Gross National Happiness, the development paradigm applied by Bhutan. According to it, economy must not be in conflict or be a priority over protection of the environment and culture. This approach is what makes tourism so important to the country, as it is considered that if managed correctly it can bring the economic development needed to provide the basic needs to the Bhutanese, and help preserving culture and environment. Tourism does indeed contribute to free education and free health service to all people (Bhutanese or not) by means of a royalty or tax included in the price of each tour.
I strongly believe that tourism can and must help reducing poverty and contribute to the sustainable development of a country. In this case Bhutan is taking the lead and trying to demonstrate that this is indeed the case. With this blog I would like to share through images part of my time there but also inspire and invite anyone interested to go and discover Bhutan through your own senses.
If you want to know more about how to organize a trip to Bhutan do not hesitate to send me a mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bhutan is waiting for you!