Bhutan 2022

Grand Reopening

Bhutan Travel announced the re-opening of the kingdom’s borders to international travellers on September 23rd, 2022. On a personal note: I remember when the Kingdom first opened for Tourism back in the mid-1970s as I was personally involved with the organization that sent the first western tourists to the kingdom.  At that time the country wisely implemented a unique “high-value, low-volume” tourism policy, in an effort to prevent mass tourism and protect its pristine environment and unique culture. They had done this by instituting a Mandatory Development Fee of USD 65.00 per person per diem. This tourism policy undoubtedly achieved its goal. However, in recent times it was noted that due to several reasons (not least of which is that the $ 65.00 is not the same now as it was then!) the risk of mass tourism was on the rise.

Therefore, with a renewed focus on sustainability and to further safeguard Bhutan and to maintain its unique position as the only country with a carbon-neutral footprint, the Bhutanese Government has decided on some fundamental changes to its tourism policy.  The Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) has been now revised to USD 100.00 per person per diem. We support this move as the SDF contributes to social welfare programs, conservation of the environment, and the improvement of infrastructure and facilities for tourists in Bhutan.  In addition, this revenue also provides for free universal education and health care for all of Bhutan’s citizens.

Please note this fee is only the Royalty that goes to the Government. It does not include any services such as hotels, tours, transfers, meals, guides, taxes, etc. and guests travelling to Bhutan will still need to be accompanied by a certified guide with a vehicle and other services. All Bhutan Travel‘s prices reflect this new SDF plus all the other services as mentioned herein.

Bhutan is a beautiful place, a heavenly place, and all of the above helps keep it that way for you, for me, and for everyone who visits after.