Bhutan Tourism Policy

What does the Tourism Policy of Bhutan mandate? How do Bhutan sustain with Tourism Industry? Find Out.

Tourism Policy in Bhutan

Tourism in Bhutan was first started in 1974 with 287 arrivals from Phuntsholing through West Bengal. The government used to run the organization till 1991 after which Government was privatized and given to the public to run the industry. Today we have more than 3000 tour operators in the Country running the business. Even though Bhutan has tremendous potential to produce tourism products but Country has moved cautiously recognizing the problem faced by mass tourism. As control-free tourism will have an irreversible impact on the environment, culture, and identity of the people the tourism in Bhutan have the principle of sustainability, indicating that Tourism must be environmentally, ecologically friendly, socially and culturally acceptable, and economically viable. Therefore Country adheres to the policy of “High value low volume” tourism with number of tourist visiting Bhutan regulated to manageable levels through policy of Government regulated tourist Tarriff.

Minimum Daily Tarriff for Bhutan

The policy of High value tourism have been supported by a system of minimum daily tarrif of USD 250 per person per night fixed by the government. The rates can be higher depending upon the nature of service demanded by the clients. The daily tarriff is fixed for two season. Tourist traveling Bhutan in high season have to pay USD 250 per person per night. The high season in Bhutan for tourist starts from March to May (spring Season) and September to November (autumn Season).

Lean season starts from June to August( summer season) and December to February(winter in Bhutan). The minimum daily tarriff tourist pay is USD 200 per person per night stay in Bhutan.

Daily Surcharge

Beside having to pay daily tariff there is also daily surcharge applicable for those people traveling solo and below 3 pax. For solo trip to Bhutan a tourist have to pay USD 40 per night excluding daily tariff and USD 30 per perosn per night in the group of 2 people beside daily tariff.

What does the daily tariff Covers?

  • The daily tariff covers
  • Government Royalty of US$ 65 per person per night
  • Accommodation 3 Star Hotel.
  • Foods and nonalcoholic drinks.
  • Professional Trekking Guide
  • Entrance fees for temples and monuments.
  • Trekking Equipment
  • Porter and Pony Charges.
  • Government Royalty of US$ 65 per person per night.

Misconception of Daily Tariff

The daily minimum tariff is most often misinterpreted to be extremely high. The fee infact covers a package that includes all internal taxes and charges including royalty, accommodation,all meals, services of the guide, internal transport and trekking equipments for trekking tours in Bhutan. The royalty goes into Government account and in return supports free medical care,free education and other welfare schemes. All visitors to Bhutan make a valuable contribution to the welfare system of the country.

 

Filming in Bhutan

Any Foreign companies and Foreign Film industry interested in any activities related to films, documentaries, and advertisements in Bhutan are required to obtain filming permits from the Bhutan Infocomm and Media Authority (BICMA) and abide by the filming Regulation, 2007 which is available on BICMA website. Application for a filming permit must be submitted to BICMA at least 30 days prior to arrival. The application should be accompanied by

Filming Royalty

The filming royalty varies depending on the category a film as follows:

TV Documentary USD 3000

Films  USD 10000.00

Advertisement USD 5000.00

Music Video USD 3000.00

TV Series ( per episode) USD 3000.00

In addition to the above, a security deposit of USD 2000 should be deposited with BICMA which is refundable upon submission of a copy of the final edited version of the film and after being reviewed by the Authority.

Customs

All arriving passengers and visitors are required to fill in the required details and submit the customs declaration form upon arrival at the Paro International Airport.

Tourist traveling Bhutan should know this.

Visitors are allowed to import temporarily free of customs duty his/ her personal and articles of high value such as sound recording equipment, film projectors, slides, and film demonstration, professional equipment, instruments, and appliances like video recorders, provided that the visitors on arrival declare all dutiable goods in passenger declaration forms and produce the same form at the time of departure if these items are disposed of in Bhutan by sale or gift they become liable for customs duty.

Best time to Travel Bhutan

Winter months ( November -January). These 3 months in Bhutan are the best time of the year for Bird watching, trekking in lower altitudes, or a bicycle trip along the mountain trails. Trekking in high mountains is not possible due to heavy snowfall on the pass.

Spring Time (February to April) is a perfect time for Kayaking, rafting, and trekking in moderate altitudes. The most popular religious dance festivals take place in spring.

Summer Time in Bhutan(May to August): The summer brings good rainfall to central Bhutan but this should not dissuade travelers. Pleasant summer temperatures without heat or humidity can be found in central and western Bhutan. Some festival like the Haa summer festival takes place in the month of July. You can combine your tour with this festival.

Autumn time in Bhutan(September to October): This time of the year is the peak for tourists visiting Bhutan. September and October have the highest number of festivals and trekkers love to trek and enjoy the clear mountains with moderate temperature. Find out more details on which all places you can visit. Our monthly travel guide to Bhutan.

Tourist Allowance while entering Bhutan

Spirits: One bottle not larger than one liter.

Cigarettes: One cartoon(containing 200 pieces) subject to 100 percent customs duty and 100% sales tax.

Note: With the pandemic, some rules of importing cigarettes have changed, and please email us with any queries.

Free Baggage Allowance for tourist

Bhutanese nationals, other national working as a regular employee in Bhutan and resident  in the country are allowed to import personal items upto US$1000 without payment of duties and taxes, subject to ceiling mentioned below.

Spirits: Two bottles, not larger than one liter.

Perfume: One bottle,not larger than two ounces.

Gold: 50 grams.

Silver : one Kilogram.

Clothing: Maximum of 10 pieces of each type.