Bhutan Travel Costs Reduced: Find Out About Visit Costs Now!

Bhutan Travel Costs Reduced: Find Out About Visit Costs Now!

To avoid paying part of the daily travel costs in Bhutan, travelers now have the option to stay at least five nights.

Bhutan recently made headlines when it raised its sustainability fee from $65 to $200 a day after reopening its borders in September. However, according to an announcement on the website of the Bhutan Ministry of Tourism, tourists who pay for the first four days can enjoy an additional four days free of charge.

Likewise, those who paid for the first 7 days can stay for an additional 7 days without paying the fee, while those who paid for 12 days can stay free for the next 18 days.

This saves travelers a lot of money. For example, a tourist can save $600 for a one-week stay and up to $3,600 for a one-month stay.

The changes, which will take effect on June 1, are designed to encourage longer stays. The Bhutan Immigration Department has even created a website where travelers can calculate their potential savings under different incentive schemes.

If travelers have already booked travel to Bhutan, they can take advantage of the new incentive by canceling their visa and reapplying for a new one.

It’s worth noting that there is no change to the Sustainability Fee, which remains at $200 per guest per night.

The new fee incentives, dubbed “promotions” by officials, will run until the end of 2024, after which standard fees will apply again.

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It is not new for tourists to Bhutan to pay at least US$200 per day. Before the outbreak, tourists had to spend at least $200 to $250 a day, including hotels, food, transportation, and a sustainability fee of $65 at the time.

In 2022, Bhutan replaced the expenditure structure with a flat sustainable development fee of US$200 for all visitors, but children aged 6 to 11 pay 50% of the daily rate, while children aged 5 and under are exempt from this fee. cost. Indian nationals are charged 1,200 rupees (US$14.50) per night, while daytime visitors to Bhutan’s border towns are exempt.

Proponents argue that the $200-a-day fee is consistent with Bhutan’s goal of attracting high-value, low-traffic tourists who can contribute to the country’s infrastructure, environmental protection and job creation, with fair wages and working conditions .

However, critics see the rate hike as elitist and fear it will negatively impact Bhutan’s already struggling tourism industry, which has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government officials began considering changes to the fee structure following discussions between Prime Minister Lothai Tseling and members of the Bhutan tourism and business community. Tshering assured the community that changes are being planned in response to concerns about the impact of these fees on investment and discouraging longer vacations.

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