Bhutan will pick up tourists from September 23, charging $200, which is three times the current level of $65.
On June 30, Bhutan Tourism Council (TCB) announced the reopening of international arrivals from September 23, after nearly 30 months of closing borders to prevent Covid-19. Visitors are required to pay a Sustainable Development fee of $200 per night, which is three times the pre-transaction fee.
Explaining the reasons for this increase, Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji said the new fee is needed to offset the impact of tourists on the environment. In addition, the country also restructured the tourism industry, adjusting standards for service providers such as hotels, guides, tour operators and drivers to provide the best experience.
Travel agencies said travelers would be free to choose their own tour leaders and plan their own itineraries. Previously they could only choose from tour packages offered by the operator.
Sangay Phuntso, Manager of the Always Bhutan Tourism Company in Thimphu, said the fee may cause some travelers to “falter.” But this will not affect the wealthy guests.
Tourism is one of the country’s main sources of revenue. Therefore, when the country closed in March 2020, the economy had fallen, many people had difficulties. Prior to the pandemic, the tourism industry brought nearly $84 million per year and 50,000 jobs.
By CNN travel
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