Registered Tour Operators
If you are planning your first ever trip to Bhutan, the first thing you need to take into account is the mandate the Royal Government of Bhutan places on the tourists to buy their tour package prior to even entering the kingdom. This is to keep up with its “High Value, Low Impact” tourism policy which in turn prohibits independent travelling unlike in most other countries in the world. Along these lines, the way to approach your planning process is to look for a certified tour-operator such as Bhutan Pelyab Tours which along with some others are registered under the Tourism council of Bhutan (TCB).
Unregistered Tour Operators
With the tourism sector becoming more vibrant than ever, Bhutan has been witnessing its fair share of increase in the number of new tour operators entering the market each year. This in recent years has led to the uprising of unregistered tour operators who are making unconsented understandings with guests, be it in terms of booking tours or making tour payments. Hence, the TCB office on its website clearly states that it will not be deemed responsible for any unpleasant circumstances relating to tours booked via unregistered tour operators.
Verifying the legitimacy of the Tour Operators
Guests wanting to try their luck with tour operators other than Bhutan Pelyab Tours which is not only a registered tour operator but has been active for the last 5 years since its establishment are strictly advised to cross-check the legitimacy of the tour operators of your choice. The way to do so is by going to the TCB website and making sure that the name of your tour operator has been listed among other local tour operators or, better still, get in touch with TCB to place a request for the validation of your tour operator.
Here is the link to TCB’s website (https://www.bhutan.travel/page/travel-requirements)
One of the downside to the tourism industry in Bhutan has always been its limited number of diplomatic missions abroad. Nevertheless, the local tour operators are trying to overcome this challenge by way of establishing international counterparts. That way, facilitating the guests has improved considerably in terms of queries and processing documents.
Issues concerning International Counterparts
Although there are positive aspects to having international counterparts; they also come with drawbacks nonetheless. For instance, if you fail to validate their affiliation with the local tour operators in Bhutan; it puts you at risk of being scammed which is not something you want this day and age.
For anyone interested in travelling to Bhutan, the way to begin their planning process is to either get hold of one of the many local tour operators and their international counterparts, provided they are registered under TCB; or one can simply contact Bhutan Pelyab Tours and skip all the hustle.