Bhutan has adopted a unique tourism policy based on the principle of "High value, Low impact" intended to ensure sustainability - not just in financial terms, but more importantly in terms of environmental, ecological, social and cultural sustainability. In practical terms what this means is that all tourists to Bhutan must come on preplanned and prepaid tours through one of the licensed Bhutanese tour operators.
Independent travel within the country is not permitted. Furthermore, the minimum daily tariff rate to be charged by the tour operators and the minimum service standards to be provided by them are prescribed by the government. These measures are in part aimed at promoting Bhutan primarily as a destination for culturally and environmentally sensitive tourists and ensuring that tourist numbers do not exceed what can be sustainably supported by the country's tourism infrastructure.
This policy of controlled tourism with a focus on sustainability and quality has secured Bhutan's reputation as an exclusive and distinctive destination, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the industry and its contribution to the economy.