Since 2010, it is an obligation for all one and two stars hotels in Bhutan to upgrade to three-star hotels and that before the end of 2012. If they fail to do so, they will see themselves be de-listed as a standard tourist hotel.
This is because Bhutan wants to improve its hotels standards, promote itself as a destination and attract more high-end tourists. Its target is to attract 100’000 tourists by 2012, knowing that in 2010 around 24’000 tourists stayed in Bhutan.
Today, three months to the deadline, still 54 two-star and 19 one-star hotels need to upgrade to three-star. This raises numerous issues: the banks refuse to give loans, labour force is missing and it is not possible to close the hotels during the upgrading renovations.
One might also ask itself what negative consequences this policy could have on less wealthy tourists, such as Indians, who might turn their back to Bhutan if this latter become too exclusive.
Authors: Gabrielle Pasche and Elodie Oulevey
Powerpoint presentation: TIA – Bhutan