First Published on: 30 Oct, 2019 By Vishwajit Sharma
Bhutan has been named as one of the best places to visit in the world by Lonely Planet, the highly acclaimed travel guide book, in its annual publication, “Best in Travel 2020”. Released every year, the publication selects the top 10 countries, cities, regions and best value destinations among 200 countries. The inclusion of Bhutan as a topmost destination for tourists is expected to boost the business of Indian tourism in the Eastern Himlayan region. In this blog, we take a look at why Bhutan placed first among the world’s topmost thrilling tourist destinations, which countries to visit in 2020 and the Lonely Planet top 10 tourism countries for 2020.
Why was Bhutan ranked first in Best in Travel 2020 by Lonely Planet?
One of the reasons behind Bhutan being declared the No. 1 tourist destination in the world, in the annual publication Best in Travel 2020 by Lonely Planet is sustainability. It is believed to become the world’s first 100 per cent organic nation, with chemical fertilizers and pesticides banned in all the farms across the country.
Tom Hall, the vice president of experience at Lonely Planet, said, “Bhutan really taps into one of the themes of this year’s Best in Travel, which is the growing awareness is sustainability and in looking after the things that make our world so beautiful. Bhutan is playing a leading role in that. It’s got a lot of things that travellers are interested in at the moment”. Some of those things include festivals, monasteries and trekking.
Despite its popularity, visiting Bhutan may burn a hole in your pocket, and is not one of the best places to vacation on a budget. According to the Travel in 2020 book, the country pursues a high value, low impact tourism policy. What that means is that visitors can be issued 7 or 14 day entry permits. These will however give you entry only to Thimphu and Paro.
What insiders in the tourism industry had to say about it?
Dorji Dradhul, the director general of Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), believes that a major factor which has played a big role in helping it secure the top Lonely Planet ranking is its high value low volume tourism policy. This development is also expected to significantly increase the foreign tourist arrival (FTA) to Bhutan.
Samrat Sanyal, General Secretary of Himalayan Hospitality and Tourism Development Network, had this to say, “It will also bring a newer vista for us in the entire Eastern Himalayan region including Darjeeling, Sikkim or North East India”. He also added that almost 30% of visitors to Bhutan also visit destinations like Darjeeling and Sikkim in their itinerary, both of which lies in eastern India and in close proximity to Bhutan. Aditya Bothra, the veteran tourism advisor, said, “Number of tourists from Europe and American continent to Darjeeling or Sikkim is much lower compared to Britishers. But Bhutan gets good mix of all of them. So increase in FTA there can significantly benefit Indian tour operators too.”
Top 10 – Countries, Regions, Cities & Best Valued Destinations
Here we bring you the top countries which you must visit in 2020, apart regions, cities and value based destinations. These travel destinations recommended by Lonely Planet are unique from one another, from their topography to the sightseeing options they have to offer.
Top 10 countries in Best in Travel 2020
- North Macedonia
- Costa Rica
- The Netherlands
Top 10 regions in Best of Travel 2020
- Central Asian Silk Road
- Le Marche, Italy
- Tohoku, Japan
- Maine, USA
- Lord Howe Island, Australia
- Guizhou Province, China
- Cadiz Province, Spain
- Northeast Argentina
- Kvarner Gulf, Croatia
- Brazilian Amazon
Top 10 cities in Best of Travel 2020
- Salzburg, Austria
- Washington DC, USA
- Cairo, Egypt
- Galway, Ireland
- Bonn, Germany
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Kochi, India
- Vacouver, Canada
- Dubai, UAE
- Denver, USA
Top 10 Best Value Destinations in Best of Travel 2020
- East Nusa Tengarra, Indonesia
- Budapest, Hungary
- Madhya Pradesh, India
- Buffalo, USA
- Cape Winelands, South Africa
- Athens, Greece
- Zanzibar, Tunisia
The selection of Bhutan as the best country to visit in “Best in Travel 2020”, an annual publication by Lonely Planet, will undoubtedly boost Indian tourism in the Eastern Himalayan Region, apart from obviously benefitting Bhutan.