Proposal to give SDF free MICE tourism for 7 days and 6 nights

Earlier 4 night MICE waiver was never implemented

Earlier this year in late January the Department of Tourism announced that to promote MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) tourism in Bhutan, there will be SDF waiver to MICE participants for 4 nights not including the travel dates to the venues, including the arrival and departure dates.

There was a lot of excitement around this, but it was never implemented as it was found that the Department of Immigration website was not able to incorporate this as its SDF waiver system was only for officials visiting and no proper SOP had been developed.

In short, the policy announcement had come before the system was updated.

Now the Tourism Department wants to go one step further and not only implement it but give 6 nights and 7 days not including the travel dates.

The Department made this proposal as it was thought that 4 nights MICE will not allow for MICE conferences in eastern Bhutan given the time it takes to travel there.

Apart from extending the MICE period the new proposal is also to allow the MICE participants some time to enjoy Bhutan and hence make it a little more flexible.

The idea is also that MICE can only be organized through tour operators and hotels.

Earlier, the minimum group size to qualify as a MICE event was seven participants.

The SDF waiver cannot be extended to spouse or family members of MICE participants.

The MICE event can happen any time of the year so there is no blackout dates.

MICE SDF waiver must be applied at least one month before the event.

Only certain events that fall within the category of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions will be eligible for the SDF waiver.

 A summary of the event, including the outcomes and photographs, must be submitted by the applicant to the Department of Tourism within one month of the departure date of the guests.

The Tourism Department had said that globally, the MICE market is one of the highest revenue contributors to the tourism industry with its value accounted for around USD 916 billion and it is projected to reach USD 1,439 billion in 2025.

MICE tourism is very important for Bhutan with its impact touching all levels of the tourism value chain, especially supporting the MICE businesses and venues of Bhutan.

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