The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan will halve the original $200 daily tourist fee. The news was reported by Reuters, which explains how the country is struggling to revitalize the tourism sector, a year after abandoning pandemic-related restrictions.
After the borders reopened in September 2022, the small South Asian country had increased its “sustainable development tax” to 200 dollars per night, against 65 dollars previously. The funds should be used to offset carbon emissions generated by the tourism industry.
“The minimum amount we are asking for is one that needs to be reinvested for an asset that will be shared for generations,” commented Lotay Tshering, Prime Minister of Bhutan, explaining the tax increase.
Tourist fees are now reduced by $100 per person per day and will take effect September 1 and continue for the next four years.
This new incentive to reduce tourist rates is adopted, “given the important role of the tourism sector in creating jobs, obtaining foreign exchange and stimulating overall economic growth”.
Bhutan now hopes to increase the contribution of the tourism sector to its national economy by $3 billion, from around 5% to 20%.
Dorji Dhradhul, director general of the Ministry of Tourism, said the kingdom had welcomed more than 56,000 tourists so far this year, but around 42,000 of them were Indian nationals, who have to pay about 14 .50 dollars a day.
See also our September 28 article: