Bhutan Cuts Tourist Fee by 50% to Attract Travelers - Travel News
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 / Bhutan  / Bhutan Cuts Tourist Fee by 50% to Attract Travelers
28 Aug

Bhutan Cuts Tourist Fee by 50% to Attract Travelers

In a strategic maneuver to entice international travelers, the enchanting realm of Bhutan has opted to slash its daily tourist fee from $200 (INR 16,509) to $100 (INR 8254). This decision comes as the kingdom seeks to invigorate its tourism sector, which continues to grapple with recovery even a year following the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the wake of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in September 2022, Bhutan previously elevated its “Sustainable Development Fee” from $65 to $200 per night. The rationale behind this adjustment was to channel the funds toward offsetting the carbon footprint generated by visiting tourists.

However, the initial surge in the tourist fee inadvertently constrained the inflow of travelers. Now, Bhutan is pinning its hopes on this revised reduction to reignite interest and escalate the number of arrivals. Effective from September, this revised tariff will be applicable for a span of four years, as stipulated by the government.

Bhutan Unveils Half-Priced Tourist Fee in Bid to Woo Global Explorers

Bhutan Unveils Half-Priced Tourist Fee in Bid to Woo Global Explorers

The official statement elucidated, “This measure is taken in recognition of the pivotal role played by the tourism sector in job creation, foreign exchange earnings, and overall economic upswing.”

For the uninitiated, Bhutan had long maintained its seclusion from the world stage for generations. It wasn’t until 1974 that the nation extended its embrace to tourists, initially welcoming a modest 300 visitors. By 2019, this count burgeoned to 315,600, as affirmed by official statistics.

Bhutan, a resplendent Himalayan haven adorned with numerous monasteries, has unfailingly captivated globetrotters from across the globe. However, the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a substantial blow to the country’s tourism sector, further compounded by the earlier tourist fee imposition, which curtailed both the volume of visitors and their expenditures.

Dorji Dhradhul, the Director General of the Department of Tourism, articulated that this fee reduction could potentially usher in a surge of visitors during the peak tourist period spanning September to December. He additionally disclosed that since the commencement of the year, over 56,000 tourists have graced Bhutan’s landscapes. Among these, a substantial 42,000 were Indian nationals, who enjoyed a more moderate fee of INR 1200 ($14.5) per day.