Bhutan Tourism Policy
What does the Tourism Policy of Bhutan mandate? How do Bhutan sustain with Tourism Industry? Find Out.
Tourism Policy in Bhutan
Bhutan is known for its unique tourism policy, which is based on the principle of “high value, low impact” tourism. This policy is designed to promote sustainable tourism and protect Bhutan’s environment and culture.
Under Bhutan’s tourism policy, all visitors to the country are required to obtain a visa, and travel must be arranged through a licensed tour operator.
Bhutan also limits the number of tourists who can visit the country each year, in order to control the impact of tourism on the environment and culture. This limit is set by the government by implementing daily charge of US$ 200 per person per night.
Bhutan’s tourism policy has been successful in promoting sustainable tourism and protecting the country’s environment and culture. However, it has also been criticized for being expensive and limiting access to the country for budget travelers.
New Sustainable Development Fees for Bhutan
The policy of High value tourism have been supported by a system of new introduction of $200 per person as sustainable development fees. The policy came into effect from 2022. The policy states that any tourist traveling Bhutan need to pay $200 per person per night apart from other travel expenses. With the start of new system tourist land up paying atleast 400$ minimum to cover the cost for hotels, Guide, transport, meals and entrance fees.
Indian traveller need to pay INR 1200 per person per night.
What does the daily tariff Covers?
- The daily tariff covers
- Government Royalty of US$ 200 per person per night
- Accommodation 3 Star Hotel.
- Foods and nonalcoholic drinks.
- Professional Trekking Guide
- Entrance fees for temples and monuments.
- Trekking Equipment
- Porter and Pony Charges.
Misconception of Daily Tariff
The daily minimum tariff is most often misinterpreted to be extremely high. The fee infact covers a package that includes all internal taxes and charges including royalty, accommodation,all meals, services of the guide, internal transport and trekking equipments for trekking tours in Bhutan. The royalty goes into Government account and in return supports free medical care,free education and other welfare schemes. All visitors to Bhutan make a valuable contribution to the welfare system of the country.
Filming in Bhutan
Any Foreign companies and Foreign Film industry interested in any activities related to films, documentaries, and advertisements in Bhutan are required to obtain filming permits from the Bhutan Infocomm and Media Authority (BICMA) and abide by the filming Regulation, 2007 which is available on BICMA website. Application for a filming permit must be submitted to BICMA at least 30 days prior to arrival. The application should be accompanied by
The filming royalty varies depending on the category a film as follows:
TV Documentary USD 3000
Films USD 10000.00
Advertisement USD 5000.00
Music Video USD 3000.00
TV Series ( per episode) USD 3000.00
In addition to the above, a security deposit of USD 2000 should be deposited with BICMA which is refundable upon submission of a copy of the final edited version of the film and after being reviewed by the Authority.
All arriving passengers and visitors are required to fill in the required details and submit the customs declaration form upon arrival at the Paro International Airport.
Tourist traveling Bhutan should know this.
Visitors are allowed to import temporarily free of customs duty his/ her personal and articles of high value such as sound recording equipment, film projectors, slides, and film demonstration, professional equipment, instruments, and appliances like video recorders, provided that the visitors on arrival declare all dutiable goods in passenger declaration forms and produce the same form at the time of departure if these items are disposed of in Bhutan by sale or gift they become liable for customs duty.
Best time to Travel Bhutan
Winter months ( November -January). These 3 months in Bhutan are the best time of the year for Bird watching, trekking in lower altitudes, or a bicycle trip along the mountain trails. Trekking in high mountains is not possible due to heavy snowfall on the pass.
Spring Time (February to April) is a perfect time for Kayaking, rafting, and trekking in moderate altitudes. The most popular religious dance festivals take place in spring.
Summer Time in Bhutan(May to August): The summer brings good rainfall to central Bhutan but this should not dissuade travelers. Pleasant summer temperatures without heat or humidity can be found in central and western Bhutan. Some festival like the Haa summer festival takes place in the month of July. You can combine your tour with this festival.
Autumn time in Bhutan(September to October): This time of the year is the peak for tourists visiting Bhutan. September and October have the highest number of festivals and trekkers love to trek and enjoy the clear mountains with moderate temperature. Find out more details on which all places you can visit. Our monthly travel guide to Bhutan.
Tourist Allowance while entering Bhutan
Spirits: One bottle not larger than one liter.
Cigarettes: One cartoon(containing 200 pieces) subject to 100 percent customs duty and 100% sales tax.
Note: With the pandemic, some rules of importing cigarettes have changed, and please email us with any queries.
Free Baggage Allowance for tourist
Bhutanese nationals, other national working as a regular employee in Bhutan and resident in the country are allowed to import personal items upto US$1000 without payment of duties and taxes, subject to ceiling mentioned below.
Spirits: Two bottles, not larger than one liter.
Perfume: One bottle,not larger than two ounces.
Gold: 50 grams.
Silver : one Kilogram.
Clothing: Maximum of 10 pieces of each type.