Travel agencies in Japan have reported an increase in inquiries about tours to the Himalayan nation of Bhutan after King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and Queen Jetsun Pema made a highly-publicized six-day state visit to Japan last week.
Tour operators reported that traffic to their websites with information about Bhutan soared after the royal couple left Osaka on Sunday, Fuji TV reported. Bhutan is being promoted as "the happiest country in the world" and ideal for a New Year getaway. Bookings are also coming in for next spring, said one travel agent.
A spokesman for GNH Travel & Service in Tokyo, which specializes in travel to Bhutan, said they had received inquiries such as "What is Bhutan like?" "Would you tell me how to go to Bhutan?" "How much does a trip to Bhutan cost?" and so on, according to Fuji TV.
GNH said the number of inquiries was three times more than normal, while web traffic soared by 10 times.
Big travel agency JTB is also getting many inquiries. The company told Sankei Shimbun that it has set up a special section on its website, called "Want to go to Bhutan?" It offers small group tours.
Another Tokyo travel agency, Wind's, started advertising a tour to Bhutan on its website and page views increased by 40 times, a spokesperson told Sankei.
Meanwhile, the Japan-Bhutan Friendship Association told reporters that it usually only gets about one inquiry a day, but has been receiving more than a 10 a day since the king and queen arrived in Japan.© Japan Today