Enchanting Kingdom Of Bhutan Scooped Lonely Planet’s World’s Best Tourist Destination In 2020


According to Lonely Planet, more and more travellers are advocating green travel while many are aware of the negative impact of over-tourism.

Children dressed up as snow leopards at the Jomolhari Mountain Festival in Bhutan. (Source: Bhutan Foundation)


By Staff Reporter | Daily Bhutan 

Wondering where to visit next year? The best destinations to head to have finally been revealed in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020 on October 22.

Bhutan has been chosen as the number one out of 195 countries to visit in 2020. Lonely Planet granted the title to this tiny Himalayan Kingdom based on its rich culture and tradition, as well as its pristine natural environment.

Adding to its charm is the unique concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH), where it is the only country in the world that measures success in terms of ‘happiness’ and not just by economic growth or GDP.

“We are very proud and grateful to our Monarchs and our leaders for bringing Bhutan to where it is today. As well as our stakeholders and visitors for believing in Bhutan and making sure that our country is number one. We are thankful to everybody,” said Damcho Rinzin, the Media Spokesperson for the Tourism Council of Bhutan.


Source: Lonely Planet


The recommendation was made by visitors across the world and the online editors of the Lonely Planet group.

“Bhutan really taps into one of the themes of this year’s Best in Travel, which is the growing awareness in sustainability and in looking after the things that make our world so beautiful, Bhutan is playing a leading role in that,” said Tom Hall, Vice-President of experience at Lonely Planet.


Top 10 Countries:

  1. Bhutan
  2. England
  3. North Macedonia
  4. Aruba
  5. Eswatini
  6. Costa Rica
  7. The Netherlands
  8. Liberia
  9. Morocco
  10. Uruguay


Source: Lonely Planet


According to Lonely Planet, more and more travellers are advocating green travel while many are aware of the negative impact of over-tourism. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that Bhutan tops the list of best countries to visit.

Exclusive experience in Bhutan

Although international tourists (excluding those from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives) are required to pay a daily tariff (US$250 for peak and US$200 for off-peak seasons), the tour package delivers on exclusivity.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan strictly advocates ‘high-value, low-impact’ tourism. By imposing a daily tariff, visitors can be assured that their experience will be unsullied by overcrowding or noisy mass tourist groups.

Tour packages typically last a week or two, inclusive of hotel accommodation, tour guide and entrance fees. One can soak in the beauty of Bhutan’s landscape and its pine-scented, monastery-crowned hills.

For the adventure lovers, Bhutan has stunning hiking trails as well as water sports such as river rafting to look forward to.


Photo: Druk Asia


Count yourself lucky if you are able to catch fascinating mask dances at a tshechu (festival which takes place in different districts at different times of the year), and mingle with the friendly locals donned in gho and kira (traditional costumes of the Bhutanese).

The flamboyant costumes, awe-inspiring masks and mesmerising dance movements at a tshechu will definitely leave an indelible impression on you.

For a more authentic experience, it is also possible to make arrangements to sleep at a homestay instead of a hotel. Visitors will be able to get up close and see how Bhutanese live in villages and savour delicious home-cooked food, in the company and warm hospitality of the hosts.

Taking pride in its carbon negative status, with more than 72% of its land under forest cover, the enchanting kingdom also plans to be the first 100% organic nation by 2020, making it the perfect time to visit. 

In 2018 a total of 274,097 tourists visited Bhutan, which represented a growth rate of 7.61 per cent over 2017.

Of the total arrivals, there were 71,807 international tourists and 202,290 regional tourists (from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives).



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