Guided by the policy principle of ‘High value, Low volume’, the tourism policy of Bhutan is founded on the principle of sustainability meaning tourism must be environmentally friendly, socially and culturally acceptable, and economically viable. Bhutan recognizes that tourism is a world-wide phenomenon and an important means of achieving socio-economic development, particularly for a developing country like Bhutan. It believes that tourism, in affording the opportunity to travel, can help to promote a deeper understanding among people and to strengthen ties of friendship based on a deeper appreciation and respect for different cultures and lifestyles.
Tourists are kept to a manageable level through a government regulated tourism system by levying the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF). All tourists must pay the daily SDF upfront to get visa. They must stay in government approved accommodation facilities and use professional licensed guide. Tourism in Bhutan is highly regulated to ensure that tourists get their value for money and the host communities don’t feel the unnecessary negative pressure from tourism.