Visitors to Bhutan must pay a daily tourist tax in the amount of $200. After being closed to outsiders for more than two years due to the pandemic, Bhutan has finally revealed its reopening date, September 23, 2022. Since ancient times, the beautiful Himalayan nation has drawn visitors from all over the world. During the pandemic, the country imposed strict COVID-19 rules, which prohibited outsiders from entering the country.
Travelers, on the other hand, will now have to pay a hefty tax to enter and explore the country. Bhutan has increased its Sustainable Development Fee for tourists (Bhutan tourist tax) to $200 (nearly INR 15,985) per person per day, according to a recent update.
Bhutan is also known as the “Last Shangri-La” due to its pristine natural beauty and long-term development. The country has always believed in a policy of High Value, Low Volume tourism.
“Covid-19 has allowed us to reset, to rethink how the sector can be best structured and operated so that it not only benefits Bhutan economically but socially as well while keeping carbon footprints low.”Dr Tandi Dorji, Bhutan’s foreign minister and chairman of the Tourism Council of Bhutan
Tourists were required to pay $65 (nearly INR 5196) for almost 30 years (since 1991), but the amount has now been increased, and those who can afford it are welcome. The increased (tripled) tax will go toward offsetting tourists’ carbon footprints and upgrading tourism workers’ skills.
Tourism is a significant part of Bhutan’s economy, accounting for 6% of the country’s GDP. According to the Tourism Council of Bhutan, 315,599 tourists visited Bhutan in 2019, earning the tourism industry USD $225 million.