About 91 % Of International Visitors Intend To Revisit Bhutan And 85 % Want To Recommend Nation Of Happiness To Others
The majority (80.4 %) of the international visitors expressed that the culture and traditional charm attracted them to Bhutan.
By Dechen Tshomo
Almost 9 out of every 10 international tourists voted Bhutan as a safe tourist destination, according to the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s (TCB) exit survey in 2017.
Similarly, about 91 percent of the regional tourists from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives agreed that Bhutan was a safe tourist destination.
About 1,428 international visitors were surveyed at the Paro International Airport using administered questionnaire survey.
On top of that, a few international tourists were interviewed at the exit points of Phuentsholing, Samdrupjongkhar, and Gelephu. A total of 1,534 regional visitors were surveyed at all exit points.
For international visitors, in terms of tourist satisfaction, value for money is the most important factor. “This is, however, a subjective evaluation on the part of the tourists,” the survey states.
Statistical breakdown of the exit survey
The survey found that more than 60 percent of the international tourists felt that the minimum daily tariff rate is worthwhile, while 7.8 percent said that they were not satisfied.
The second top attribute was the ease of accessibility to services, followed by the transport system, according to the survey.
Tour Guide services, accessibility to services and accommodation were the three most important attributes contributing to the satisfaction of regional tourists.
While 89.8 percent of the international tourists responded that Bhutan had a unique destination image in the region, only about 68.5 percent of the regional visitors felt the same.
According to the survey, 74.9 and 81.7 percent of the international and regional visitors respectively expressed that Bhutan offers a wide range of visitors’ products or services.
About 62.8 percent of the international visitors stated that Bhutan offers affordable travel destination, while 80.7 percent of the regional visitors stated the same.
Attributes of Bhutan which lure visitors to this exotic kingdom
More than 80 percent of the visitors responded that Bhutan’s pristine environment, its people and culture as well as its focus on the philosophy of ‘Gross National Happiness’ were tourist attractions.
The majority (80.4 percent) of the international visitors expressed that the culture and traditional charm attracted them to Bhutan. For regional tourists, besides culture and tradition (41.2 percent) of Bhutan, the natural and ecological factor (33.8 percent) inspired them to visit the country.
How do the visitors rate the facilities and services provided?
In terms of the visitor’s satisfaction with the facilities and services available, more than 60 percent of the international visitors said that the local transport, accommodation provided to them and the food and beverages served were worth the payment they made. However, about less than 10 percent said the three services were not worth the money spent.
Source: Tourism Council of Bhutan
More than half of the international and regional visitors were satisfied with the ease of access to services like the banking system and communication facilities.
About 52.4 percent said that they were satisfied with the toilet facilities while 16.7 percent said that they were not satisfied and 4.5 percent said they were not at all satisfied.
Likewise, about 13 percent of the regional tourists said they were not satisfied with the toilet facilities in the country while 63.9 percent said they were satisfied.
Only about 40 percent of the international arrivals stated that the tourist hotspots had disable-friendly service while 71.5 percent of the regional visitors stated the same.
Ratings of the tourist guides in Bhutan
According to the survey, more than 80 percent of the visitors have found the guides professional and of good quality while about 4.6 percent were not satisfied with the service quality of guides.
“Guide services is perceived as one of the key factors responsible for tourist loyalty,” it states.
About 91 percent of the international tourists responded that they has visited Bhutan for the first time as against nine percent who has visited the country more than once, according to the survey. Similarly, about 8.4 percent of the regional tourists have visited the country for the first time while 48.9 percent responded that they were visiting the country for the second time.
The exit survey shows that about 91 percent of the international visitors had the intention to revisit Bhutan and about 85 percent of them want to recommend Bhutan to others. More than 80 percent of the regional tourist intend to revisit the country and would recommend Bhutan to others.
In terms of travel arrangement and travel part composition, the survey found that more than 70 percent of the international and regional arrivals had come through travel agents. The rest travelled independently through arrangement by counterpart government and corporations, especially those who had visited Bhutan for business and official purposes.
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Daily Bhutan.