The government of Bhutan has decided to waive the SDF (Sustainable Development Fund) tourism fee of USD 200 per person per day for longer stays.
According to the Ministry of Tourism of Bhutan, the SDF (Sustainable Development Fund) tourism fee of USD 200 per person per day will be maintained but will now depend on the length of stay. Specifically, since June 1, 2023 (tentatively until the end of the year), there are three bargain options:
- 4 + 4: You pay the SDF of $200 per night per person for four nights and receive up to four additional nights without the per diem;
- 7 + 7: You pay the SDF of US$200 per night per person for seven nights and receive up to seven additional nights with no per diem;
- 12 + 18: If you pay the SDF of US$ 200 per night per person for twelve nights, you will receive up to eighteen additional nights gratis.
To remember, in September 2022, Bhutan reopened its borders to tourists and introduced a new SDF fee of US$200 per person per day. Since then, tourism to Bhutan has not recovered, although exact figures have yet to be published. Now the government has responded by waiving the fee for longer stays. Travel to Bhutan is still more expensive than before the pandemic. However, with the new tourism fee policy, it is affordable again.
With the SDF fee, the country wants to conserve local resources. Bhutan has limited accommodations and wants to avoid developing low-cost or mass tourism. Every visitor should have the opportunity to plant a tree. 70% of the country is covered by forest, and sustainable tourism is a top priority for the tourism authority. Bhutan is one of the few countries in the world that is not only "CO2 neutral" but also "CO2 negative". Bhutan sequesters more CO2 than it emits.