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Why travel to Bhutan is expensive in 2022?

It’s expensive to travel to Bhutan in the current situation compared to the situation before the COVID pandemic. Previously, the daily minimum wage rate in Bhutan was USD200 per person per night in the off-season and USD250 per person per night in the high season. But that has changed currently with Bhutan Revises Tourism Tax and Policy effective from 23rd onwards. Bhutan daily rate and term now ranges from US$ 350 – US$ 2,500 approx. per night per person for the standard package which includes accommodations at 3 star hotels, guide, transfers, sightseeing. Travellers coming to Bhutan now need to pay a Sustainable Development Fee-SDF US$ 200 per night. Earlier, it was US$65 per night but the Bhutanese government hiked the SDF after the pandemic. Low season and high season rates have also been abolished, and there’s one applicable throughout the year. With this new tourism rule, Bhutan aims for a high-value, low-impact policy.

How much does it cost to visit Bhutan?

The reason Bhutan has become so expensive now is the increased SDF fee and the approximate travel cost, which comes as below. But this cost is only a hint and depends upon the services you request, hotels used etc.

Sustainable Development Fee-SDF
US$ 200 (Per Person Per Night)

Standard Tour Packages
US$ 350 – US$ 500 (Per Person Per Night with SDF)

Deluxe tour Packages
US$ 500 – US$ 900 (Per Person Per Night with SDF)

Luxury tour Packages
US$ 900 – US$ 2500 (Per Person Per Night with SDF)

Why Bhutan tour cost is expensive?

It’s due to the recent hike of SDF fee which is US$200 per person per night replacing with US$65 per person per night. Besides now the government has also implemented entrance fees to most of the tourist sites which was free of cost earlier.

Discount on SDF

Discount is available for youngsters aged 6 to 12 for which a day will cost around USD 100. The same applies to children under five who are exempt from SDF. All other discounts on duration of visit, student discount or tour leader discount are abolished.

Regional tourism from India, Bangladesh, and Maldives needs to pay SDF of 1200 Rs/Nu (~15 USD) per person per day. No discounts on that, even toddlers have to pay the same.

Entrance fees in Bhutan

Visiting the tourist locations in Bhutan like monasteries, dzongs, temples, dzong fortress, Taktsang Monastery ‘Tiger’’s Nest’ at place like Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Gangtey, Troangsa, Bumthang ‘Jakar’, one needs to pay entrance fees extra.

Is there quarantine in Bhutan?

Before 23rd September 2022, all visitors arriving need to stay for 24 hours quarantine upon arrival in Bhutan. After positive test result after quarantine, they can start their tour as planned. All quarantine expenses like hotels, food, covid test are extra and need to be paid by the guest themselves. However, after 23rd September all quarantine will be lifted off.

Are flights to Bhutan open?

Yes, flights to Bhutan is open now from Kathmandu, Delhi, Singapore but the flight schedule have changed which is as follows:

Kathmanud/Paro/Kathmandu
AUG 2022 every Thursday
SEP and OCT 2022 Monday, Thursday and Saturday.
NOV and DEC 2022 Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

Bhutan Airlines has also opened their flights and they are flying from Kathmndu, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangkok only.

The Conclusion

If you planed to visit Bhutan then you will have three options: standard, deluxe, and luxury tour packages. You can choose the packages as per your travel budget and even though Bhutan is expensive, the dragon kingdom is worth every penny to visit.

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