Tourism in Bhutan was privatized by the Royal Government of Bhutan in 1991. Today it is a vibrant business with nearly 200 private operators at the helm of affairs. The Royal Government of Bhutan adheres strongly to a policy of high value, low impact/volume tourism.
The tourism industry in Bhutan is founded on the principle of sustainability, meaning that tourism must be environmentally and ecologically friendly, socially and culturally acceptable and economically viable. The number of tourists visiting Bhutan is regulated to a manageable level because of the lack of infrastructure also.
The Royal Government of Bhutan recognizes that tourism is a world-wide phenomenon and an important means of achieving socioeconomic development particularly for a developing country like Bhutan. It also recognizes that tourism, in affording the opportunity to travel, can help in promoting understanding among people and building closer ties of friendship based on appreciation and respect for different cultures and lifestyles.
Towards achieving this objective, the Royal Government, since inception of tourism in the year 1974, has adopted a very cautious approach to growth and development of the tourism industry in Bhutan. In order to minimize the problems, the number of tourists has been maintained at a manageable level and this control on number is exercised through a policy of government regulated tourist tariff.