Visit Bhutan between now (the season starts October) and the end of 2024 and you’ll be able to take advantage of some new travel incentives introduced this year by the Bhutanese Government. The changes mean reduced costs, particularly if you’re staying longer in the Kingdom and are part of a plan to encourage sustainable and transformative tourism.
Bhutan reopened to travellers at the end of 2022 and at that time also increased its tourism tax, also known as the Sustainable Development Fee or SDF. All international travellers to Bhutan must pay USD$200 per person per night whilst in Bhutan, an increase on previous rates.
The SDF fees are used to protect and preserve Bhutan’s natural environment, landscapes and communities including various projects, such as tree planting and other climate change initiatives.
Despite the increase in the SDF fees, they have recently introduced a number of incentives, particularly aimed at encouraging longer stays and exploring more areas of Bhutan, which is great news.
Depending on how long you stay, travellers visiting Bhutan between 01 June 2023 and 31 December 2024 will be able to stay additional nights without paying the daily SDF.
The travel incentive options in place include:
When your trip ends, the incentives reset so you could return again and benefit again from the incentives. The incentives and fees also depend to some extent on your group size as well but overall it’s a fantastic opportunity to slow down, explore more and different areas and have an amazing journey through Bhutan. Bhutan is a wonderful and still very exclusive destination to visit but it can be expensive, particularly for longer stays and travelling into more remote locations so this is a great way to make it more accessible to more travellers whilst still maintaining their focus on sustainable tourism.
Travellers also have the opportunity to plant a tree as part of Bhutan’s target of planting one million new trees. We normally say take only memories (and photographs) and leave nothing behind but in this case, feel free to leave a tree behind!
The next best travel times to visit Bhutan begin at the end of September into early October and we can’t wait to get out there again ourselves!