Bhutan marked World Tourism Day 2023 (September 27) by releasing new passport entry visa and permit stamps that incorporate Bhutan’s new national brand ‘Bhutan Believe’.
The stamps, released by Bhutan’s Department of Tourism in collaboration with Bhutan’s Department of Immigration, prominently feature a dragon, symbolising its association with the legendary creature that is deeply rooted in the country’s cultural and religious traditions.
“The objective was to create a passport stamp design that becomes a collectable item, that celebrates the start of a traveller’s journey at the moment they step into the Kingdom,” said Dorji Dhradhul, the Director General of the Department of Tourism.
"Each stamp is not just an entry mark, but also a reflection of Bhutan's rich tapestry of tradition and culture, and an invitation to experience the heartbeat of our nation's soul”, said Tshering Wangmo, the Director of Bhutan’s Department of Immigration. "With every imprint, we hope to share a piece of 'Bhutan Believe' with the world."
In Bhutanese folklore and mythology, the dragon is a revered symbol that represents protection, strength, and the spirit of Bhutan. Bhutan’s traditional name is ‘Drukyul’, which means ‘land of the thunder dragon’.
The stamps also feature uniquely Bhutanese ‘ornaments’ that reflect hand-painted architectural decoration, one of the 13 traditional crafts (or Zorig Chusum) that represent Bhutanese cultural identity.
Bhutan launched its new national brand in September 2022, coinciding with the reopening of the kingdom after the Covid-19 pandemic. The new brand and identity were designed to inspire a new vision of the future for its citizens, while reflecting Bhutan’s character and landscapes, history and ambitions: bold, vivid, richly storied and distinctive, a statement said.
It offers a rallying cry to ‘believe’ in the nation’s capabilities, its values, its global contribution, its responsibilities, and its future, the statement added.
Using traditional colours, a completely new graphic identity system was created, which draws on traditional Bhutanese iconography such as hand-painted architectural decoration, mythical animals, folklore and symbolism – all reimagined with boldness, sharpness and dynamism. The vibrant brand identity has already been rolled out across public and private sectors.