Photo Courtesy: Bhutan Travelers

SDF to be USD 100 per day for next 4 years

In a press release the government announced additional incentives and policy measures to boost the tourism sector. This is in view of the important role of the tourism sector in generating employment; earning foreign exchange; realizing the potential for spillover benefits for ancillary industries; and in boosting overall economic growth.

The main measure was a fifty percent discount to be granted on the prevailing SDF of USD 200 for US Dollar paying tourists visiting Bhutan. The effective SDF with the discount shall be USD 100 per person per day for US Dollar paying tourists.

In addition, fifty percent discount on the SDF shall be granted on the rates applied to children aged between 6 to 12 years for US Dollar paying children visiting as tourists.

 The 24 hours SDF waiver for tourists staying in the border towns shall continue.

The above incentives will come into effect from 1 September 2023 and shall remain effective for four years till 31 August 2027.

The release said the government shall conduct periodic assessments of the domestic and international tourism scenarios and may discontinue the above incentives to uphold and promote High Value Low Volume Tourism Policy of Bhutan after 31 August 2027.

The above move will come as a huge relief to the Tourism Industry which has been asking for a lower SDF to get in more numbers.

The move will particularly help the Asian market of tourists from South East Asian countries and East Asian countries and also overall numbers as tourists found Bhutan to be very expensive after the pandemic.

The earlier scheme of 8 days and 14 days with a waiver for 4 and 7 days each was found to be very complicated and benefitting only a certain segment of tourists.

The hotel industry will be breathing the biggest sigh of relief as this comes just at the start of the autumn season.

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