Bhutan Travel announces the re-opening of the kingdom’s borders to international travellers from September 23rd, 2022 onwards. 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. While this tourism policy undoubtedly achieved the desired goal, in the years preceding the COVID-19 pandemic the risk of mass tourism has been 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) which has been USD 65.00 per person daily (since Bhutan’s initial opening) has been now revised to @ USD 200.00 per person daily. The SDF contributes to social welfare programs, conservation of the environment, 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.
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.