Toursim Policy of Bhutan
The Royal Government of Bhutan has been following the tourism policy of “High Value, Low Volume” since its inception in 1974. Bhutan government has managed to follow the Tourism policy.
The tourist has to travel with licensed Bhutanese Tour Operators with licensed Tour Guides. The Guest has to accommodate in licensed accommodation with paying minimum daily rates. At the same time they have to follow particular routes.
The Bhutanese government promotes the conservation of traditional and culture and to improve the well beings of our Bhutanese people with guiding principles of Gross National Happiness. In 1974 Bhutan open her door to the visitor to the outside world. Since then Tourism became one of our largest commercial sources of Bhutan.
Visitors are required to fill up the Custom Form and hand over to concerned authorities on arrival. Following articles are exempted from duty :-
a) Personal affects and articles for day to day use by the visitor
b) 2 litres of alcohol, 400 cigarettes, 150 gms of pipe tobacco
c) Instruments, apparatus or appliances for professional use
d) Photogrphic equipment, video cameras and other electronic goods for personal use .
The articles mentioned under c). & d). must be declared in Custom Form. If such items disposed off in Bhutan by sale of gift, they are liable for custom duty.
Import and Export of following goods are strictly prohibited :-
a) Arms, ammunitions, explosives and military stores
b) All narcotics and drugs except medically prescribed drugs
c) Wildlife products, especially those of endangered species
Also visitors are advised to be cautious in purchasing old and used items. Custom authorities will not allow any old / used items to be taken out of the country if they have not been certified as non-antiques. Imports of plants, soils etc. are subject to quarantine regulations. These items must be cleared on arrival.
Other than Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; visas are only issued to booked with a local licensed tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent.
The minimum tariff for tourist visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:
High Season Tariff – USD$ 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
The minimum price includes:
– All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
– All Meals
– All travel with a licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide
– All Internal Transport
– Camping Equipment and Haulage for Trekking Tours
The Tourism Council of Bhutan operates the daily tariff for all tourists entering the country. It is not possible to enter Bhutan as a tourist without paying this tariff except if you are from India, Maldives or Bangladesh. For these three countries all the visitor requires is to produce their identity card of their country.
The daily tariff covers:
• A minimum of 3 star accommodation – Luxury hotels may incur an additional fee
• All meals – Breakfast, lunch, dinner
• A licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide for the extent of the stay
• All internal transport – excluding any internal flights
• Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
• All internal taxes and charges
• A royalty of $65 (which is included in the tariff price)
The minimum tariff is (for a group of 3 persons or more):
• USD $250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
• USD $200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
The rates are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan. Groups of two or less shall be subject to a surcharge, over and above the minimum daily rates applicable, as follows:
• Individual, US$ 40 per night
• 2 persons, US$ 30 per person per night.
There is no charge for children up to the age of 5 years. Children aged between 6 to12 years accompanied by parents/ guardians shall be given 50% discount on daily rates and 100% discount on Royalty. Full time students below the age of 25 years holding valid identity cards from their academic institutions shall also be given a 25% discount on daily rates. A discount of 50% on daily rates shall be given to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people. 100% discount shall be given to one member in a group exceeding 16 persons. A 50% discount on Royalty shall be provided after the 8th night and 100% discount on Royalty shall be provided after the 14th night.
All our tours are escorted by well trained, knowledgeable guides who are certified by Tourism Council of Bhutan. We generally provide English speaking guides however the services of Japanese, French & German speaking guides can be provided with sufficient prior information and on an additional cost.