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Bhutan becomes ‘best country to visit’, eastern Himalayan region foresees gain


Indian tourism arena in eastern Himalayan region is expecting a boost in business after adjacent country Bhutan has been named as the best country to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet.

The internationally acclaimed travel guide book publisher has kept Bhutan at the top most position in its annual publication ‘Best in Travel 2020’ that highlights the top 10 countries, cities, regions and best value destinations among near 200 countries.

According to Tourism Council of Bhutan’s (TCB) director-general Dorji Dradhul, high-value-low-volume tourism policy of the country has played a vital role in getting it to the top of Lonely Planet ranking. This is expected to significantly increase foreign tourist arrival(FTA) to Bhutan.

“It will also bring a newer vista for us in the entire Eastern Himalayan region including Darjeeling, Sikkim or North East India,” said Samrat Sanyal General Secretary of Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network.

According to Sanyal, near 30% of visitors to Bhutan from outside world prefer keeping adjacent eastern Indian destinations like Darjeeling or Sikkim in their itinerary. Eventually, any eastern India will be a beneficiary of Bhutan’s increased FTA.

Veteran tourism advisor Aditya Bothra said, “Number of tourists from Europe and American continent to Darjeeling or Sikkim is much lower compared to Britishers. But Bhutan gets good mix of all of them. So increase in FTA there can significantly benefit Indian tour operators too.”