Power, regionalism and tourism policy in Bhutan

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61 Scopus citations


This paper uses power relationship frameworks and regionalism concepts to understand two political aspects of Bhutan's low-volume, high-yield tourism policy. The number of tourists to Bhutan has been controlled not by an annual visa quota, but by a daily minimum tariff, a required guided tour, certain spatial restrictions, and the general perception of inconvenience associated with the process of getting a visa. The controlled tourism policy, however, is limited only to western tourists, who represent only a quarter of arrivals. Although Bhutan has been able to minimize the environmental and cultural impacts of western tourists through its low-volume, high-yield tourism policy, this is more related to power and regional politics than simply a quest for sustainable tourism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-988
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Bhutan
  • Controlled tourism
  • Power
  • Regionalism
  • Supranationalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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