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Bhutan reduces tourism tax until end 2024 for long staying visitors paying in dollars

Bhutan has lowered its tourism tax for visitors who stay longer than four nights. The discount only applies to tourists who pay in US dollars only.

The move is being taken to attract more tourists and aid visitor number recovery following the pandemic.

Bhutan has the highest fee of USD 200-a-night Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) per visitor for the privilege of staying there since its reopening in 2022 after two years of Covid shutdown.

Prior to this, the fee had been set at a still-hefty USD 65pp per night for the last three decades.

Designed to deter budget travellers and attract wealthier visitors who care about the environment, the money from the SDF is used to protect Bhutan’s natural landscapes and offset tourists’ carbon footprints.

However, under the new rules, travellers who opt to stay longer will pay less. From June until the end of 2024, tourists who are there for four days can stay an additional four days without paying further daily fees. Those who stay for 12 days can remain for a full month without paying any extra SDF.

“If more tourists stay longer in Bhutan tourism can help our economy to grow faster,” said Dorji Dhradhul, DG, the Department of Tourism, reports The Straits Times.

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