Travelers can avoid paying some of Bhutan’s daily tourism fees, as long as they stay at least five nights.
Last week, Bhutan announced changes to its Sustainable Development Fee which made headlines after it jumped from $65 to $200 a day when the country reopened its borders in September.
Travelers who pay the SDF for the first four days can stay an additional four days without paying the fee, according to an announcement on Bhutan’s Department of Tourism website.
Similarly, travelers who pay the fee for the first seven days can stay an additional seven days without paying for the second week, while those who pay for 12 days are exempt from paying it for 18 days thereafter, it said.
This equates to $600 in savings for tourists staying a week, and some $3,600 in savings for those staying a month.
The changes, effective June 1, are meant to encourage vacationers to stay longer. Bhutan’s Department of Immigration created a website where travelers can calculate potential savings under the different incentive programs.
Travelers who have already booked trips to Bhutan can take advantage of the new incentives by canceling their visas and re-applying for a new one, according to the announcement.
Government officials are quick to point out that Bhutan’s SDF has not changed however, and remains $200 per traveler per night.
The new fee incentives — which officials have called a “promotion” — are set to remain in place until the end of 2024, after which “the standard SDF will apply once again,” according to tourism department.
Spending at least $200 a day isn’t new to travelers to Bhutan.
Prior to the pandemic, tourists were required to spend a minimum of $200 to $250 per day, which was often wrapped into tour packages that included hotel, food and transportation charges as well as the SDF, which was $65 at the time.
Bhutan scrapped that spending structure in 2022 in favor of a set $200 SDF for all tourists except:
- Children aged 6 to 11 years old, who pay 50% of the daily SDF to visit, or $100;
- Children 5 and younger, who are exempt from the fee.
Additionally, Indian nationals are charged 1,200 rupees per night ($14.50), while day visitors to Bhutanese border towns do not need to pay the SDF.
Supporters of Bhutan’s $200 daily fee say it furthers the country’s goal to attract “high value, low volume” tourists who can afford the fees which will go toward upgrading infrastructure, protecting the environment and creating jobs that provide fair wages and working conditions.
But others argue the increased rates are “elitist,” and will harm the country’s travel industry that was already reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
News that officials were considering changing the SDF followed discussions between Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering and members of Bhutan’s tourism and business communities in April, according to a local media report.
After citizens argued the tourism fees were harming investment in the country and discouraging long vacations, Tshering assured community members that changes were in the works, the report said.
Southern Charm: Taylor Comes Clean About Paige Cheating Rumor
Why Selena Gomez Avoids Her Bedroom During a Bad Mental Health Day
Villa’s first appearance in Europe for 13 years ends in valiant defeat
‘It’s kind of like the ’90s are back’: Microsoft previews unified AI ‘Copilot’ initiative
Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research Allegedly Linked to 2021 Bitcoin Price Plunge
Republican lawmakers pass millions in new funding for crisis pregnancy centers as Democrats push back
How Your Family’s Health History Can Help You Address Heart Issues
Victoria Monét on How a Difficult Birth Influenced Her New Album, ‘Jaguar II’
3 Things to Do When Traveler’s Diarrhea Is Ruining Your Life
Football managers’ transfer spend revealed as Chelsea bosses dominate top ten
Palantir’s Reputation Stalks Its Bid for the UK’s National Health Data
Priscilla Presley Vowed to Make Her Relationship With Elvis Work ‘No Matter What’ For Her Parents’ Sake
Toddler struck and killed by tow truck while lying in the road in Maine
Microsoft Shows Off New Surface Laptops and AI-Enhanced Windows
Everything to Know About Dannielynn Birkhead — Anna Nicole Smith and Larry Birkhead’s Daughter
Auto21 hours ago
Watch 1,000-HP Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing Drag Race Stock Corvette Z06
Auto20 hours ago
Watch And Listen As Small-Scale V12 Engine Revs To 11,500 RPM
News19 hours ago
EXCLUSIVE: Danny Masterson’s wife Bijou Phillips ditches her wedding ring as she’s seen smiling and laughing with a pal in LA – just two days after filing for divorce from jailed rapist
Finance20 hours ago
Chip Stock Ready For Make-Or-Break Week
Tech12 hours ago
More layoffs at Outreach: Seattle sales software startup cuts 12% of staff
Tech17 hours ago
OpenAI Shoehorns ChatGPT into New DALL-E 3 Because Why Not?
News15 hours ago
Tyreek Hill was impressed by Patriots rookie Christian Gonzalez: ‘He’s real good’
Tech19 hours ago
Permission denied for reentry of Varda’s orbiting experiment capsule