In order to boost Bhutan tourism, the country has launched a free online permit in 2017 for India, Bangladesh, and Maldives. It is to be noted that, in the year 2016, Bhutan received about 146,797 tourists from these three countries which recorded 50% growth as compared to the tourist arrivals in 2015. About 138,201of the total visitors from the three destinations were recorded to be Indians. Therefore, Bhutan considers India as the topmost inbound source market for the country and thus, offer online permit in advance through travel agents and accommodation providers.
In 2016, Bhutan received about 209,570 global arrivals which showed annual growth of 35% to be the highest that the country has achieved in last 5 years. As per the foreign tourist arrival front, maximum of 17% tourist arrived from China, 13% from the United States of America and 9% from Japan, followed by Thailand and United Kingdom. Regional visitors (India, Bangladesh, Maldives) constituted 70% of all arrivals of which, 69% arrived over land. Majority of the travellers visited Bhutan for sightseeing the culture that includes, Festivals, visiting Dzongs and Monuments.