Travelling to the Happiest Place on Earth, Bhutan, is about to get a whole lot heavier on the pocket. Read on to know all the deets! By Amitha Ameen
We may soon be asked to cough up a hefty ‘permit processing fee’ and a Sustainable Development Fee’ while visiting the Land of Thunder Dragon. The rule which earlier only applied to foreigners, will now apply to tourists from neighbouring countries like India, Bangladesh and the Maldives.
This measure has been taken due to rising influx of tourists in addition to curbing low-rent and unregulated guest houses and homestays in the country.
Foreigners visiting Bhutan must shell out between $200 – $250 (Rs.14,265.10 – Rs.17,831.38 approx.) per day, depending on the season. Normally off-season or low season is in winter, from December to February and during the monsoon season which runs from June to August. But, that’s not all. An additional surcharge amount is also payed, depending on solo or group tourists.
The decision to charge regional tourists is in part because of the lack of regulations for them. Unaware of the do’s and dont’s, the regional tourists’ actions are sometimes out of line and ends up causing inconvenience to the locals in the region.
As per media reports, Bhutan had witnessed at least 2,74,000 tourists in the year 2018, out of which at least 1,80,000 were from India alone. Although, a date hasn’t been set as to when the rule might get implemented, we wouldn’t want to take the risk. If you are looking to plan a trip to Bhutan, we have a specially curated guide for the foodie in you.