Today: Sunday, 21 April 2024 year

Bhutan will halve the daily tourist tax.

Bhutan will halve the daily tourist tax.

The Kingdom of Bhutan will halve the $200 daily fee the country charges tourists to $100 from September, the government of Bhutan said.

In September 2022, Bhutan raised its so-called “sustainability fee” from $65 to $200 per day, saying the money would go towards offsetting the carbon emissions that visitors to the country are responsible for. The new $100 per day fee will take effect from September and will be in effect for four years.

“This is due to the important role of the tourism sector in creating jobs, as well as in the accumulation of foreign exchange and in stimulating overall economic growth,” the Bhutanese authorities said in a statement.

Dorji Dhradhul, head of the country’s tourism department, said the reduced fee could increase the number of tourists during the September-December peak period, which accounts for many religious and cultural events in the predominantly Buddhist country. More than 56,000 tourists have visited Bhutan since January 2023, according to the official, but about 42,000 of them were Indian citizens who need to pay a more modest tourist tax.

Isolated for generations, Bhutan opened to tourists in 1974. Only 300 people attended then. The number rose to 315,600 in 2019, according to official figures. Bhutan has always been wary of the impact of mass tourism and even bans mountain climbing to keep its peaks intact. However, Bhutan hopes to increase tourism’s contribution to its economy by up to 20% – currently around 5%.