Thai tourist arrivals in the past two months since the special offer for Thais was announced exceeded government expectations. Around 3,000 Thai tourists were expected but records with the Tourism Council of Bhutan show that 3,659 of them turned up.
TCB officials said this did not include the number of Thai expatriates who availed the offer in the leaner months. Last year 726 Thai tourist arrivals were recorded in the country. This year’s unexpected bonus was deemed a positive step in revenue generation in the months of June, July and August which fall under the “off season”.
Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay announced the offer earlier this year to commemorate 25 years of diplomatic relations between Bhutan and Thailand. The offer is for Thai nationals and expats with proof of residency in Thailand. They are exempt from the minimum daily tariff of USD 200 a day for the lean season, but have to bear the royalty of USD 65 a day.
The national airlines, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines, provide 50 percent discount on airfare, and hotels also provided up to 50 percent discount on rates.