Record numbers visit Bhutan

The Indian Subcontinent is one of the most up-and-coming destinations to take a gap year. It is made up of India, the most popular country to visit, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Indian Subcontinent is also made up of Bhutan, but not many people know that.

Bhutan is a small country, with a population of only 700,000 people, yet it has always been an extremely popular country to visit due to its remoteness and natural beauty.

Bhutan, bordering India and China, has seen a significant increase in the number of UK visitors backpacking and travelling to the country in 2011 compared to 2010.

37,481 international visitors entered Bhutan in 2011 representing a 38% increase from the 27,196 in 2010. Of those, 2,795 were British compared to 1,772 from the previous year, an increase of 1,023.

Besides the stunning natural scenery, the enduring image of the country for most visitors is the strong sense of culture and tradition that binds the kingdom and clearly distinguishes it from its larger neighbours. 

There are a number of activities that attract visitors to Bhutan, such as mountain biking, rock climbing and trekking.

One tour operator which has been sending more UK travellers to Bhutan is Ampersand Travel.

Its founder James Jayasundera said: “The combination of better quality hotels and more exciting possibilities for adventure has led to this increase in numbers.  Bhutan is becoming more accessible yet retains its air of mystery and strong cultural heritage which has always been very attractive.”

So, Bhutan. Have you ever been? Do you have any plans to visit Bhutan on your gap year?

If you’re thinking of heading to the Indian Subcontinent and need a little inspiration then read Martin Bray’s of running a marathon up Mount Everest

Photos of Bhutan: