Bhutan will open to tourists after 2 years, Rs 1200 per day for Indians

Bhutan raised the sustainable development fee to $200 per visitor per night.

Guwahati:

After closing its doors to international tourists for two and a half years during the Covid pandemic, Bhutan reopened its borders today.

The reopening was accompanied by a revised tourism tax called the Sustainable Development Fee.

Bhutan raised its sustainable development fee to $200 per visitor per night from the $65 it had charged foreign tourists for the past three decades.

Indians were not charged anything before the pandemic started, but the rules specify that they now have to pay 1,200 rupees. However, the revised charge for Indian tourists was never implemented.

In March 2020, Bhutan closed its borders to visitors – a major source of income – after the first case of COVID-19 was identified.

The Himalayan kingdom, with a population of fewer than 800,000, has reported just over 61,000 infections and just 21 deaths, but its economy has suffered in the past two years, causing poverty to rise.

“The Government of Bhutan has changed its ‘high-value, small-scale’ tourism policy strategy to ensure sustainable use of tourism resources and create an environment for a vibrant, non-discriminatory, inclusive and high-value tourism industry. Bhutan,” Bhutanese Consul General Jigme Thinley Namgyal told NDTV.

Wedged between India and China, Bhutan, famous for measuring national happiness, hopes to welcome more tourists with spending money.

“Tourism is a national asset and we also try to remain carbon neutral – it comes at a price. We are developing our infrastructure to make our tourism sustainable. This is the main reason why we charge this fee,” added the Consul General. .