Responsible Rural Tourism in Bhutan: Aligning Gross National Happiness and the Cape Town Principles

Sarah Schiffling, CHRIS PHELAN, Karma Pema Loday

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


For the small Himalayan nation of Bhutan, tourism has been a significant contributor to economic growth and the development of a private sector. This case study explores the alignment of the Bhutanese philosophy of Gross National Happiness, which forms the foundation of all policy, with the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism. Bhutan was very isolated for most of its history, which protected its fragile natural environment and unique culture. Both could be threatened by tourism. However, the case study shows that both policy and personal values in Bhutan align with responsible tourism practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResponsible Rural Tourism in Asia
EditorsVikneswaran Nair, Amran Hamzah, Ghazali Musa
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherChannel View Publications
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781845417529, 9781845417536
ISBN (Print)9781845417512
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameAspects of Tourism
PublisherChannel View


  • Gross National Happiness
  • Cape Town Declaration
  • Responsible Tourism
  • Sustainability
  • Tourism
  • Bhutan
  • Rural Tourism


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