As part of this new policy, the government has implemented a “sustainable development fee” (SDF) on visitors. Tourists from India, Bangladesh and Maldives will now have to pay a daily fee of Rs 1,200 during their stay. For tourists from other nations, the fee is $200 (around Rs 16,000) each night.
1. What is the Sustainable Development Fee(SDF)?
Following our reopening on September 23rd 2022, visitors to Bhutan will be required to make an active contribution to Bhutan’s economic, social and cultural development. The Sustainable Development Fee will go towards investment in transformative programmes that preserve our cultural traditions, protect our heritage and environment, upgrade infrastructure, create opportunities for our young people, and build resilience.
2. How much is the SDF and where do the fund go?
For all visitors, except those from India, the SDF is US$200 per person, per night. For guests from India, the SDF is 1,200 ngultrum, or the equivalent amount in Indian rupees, per person, per night.
Children aged 6 to 12 at the time of travel receive a 50% concessionary discount on the SDF. Those aged 5 or younger are exempt.
Day visitors to the Bhutanese towns bordering India are also exempt from paying the SDF until they reach a point designated by the Bhutanese government.
The SDF is collected by the national exchequer and funds are allocated to various projects that enhance facilities, services and infrastructure for Bhutanese nationals and visitors, as well as funding free healthcare and education.