THIMPHU – Foreign tourists visiting picturesque Bhutan will have to shell out extra money from the next year, as the country will increase daily tariff for tourists entering the country by $50.
The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) has decided to raise tariff for tourists from $200 to $250. However, the revised tariff will be applicable only during the peak seasons.
“It will remain at $200 for lean season months and all other discount, surcharge and royalty will remain the same,” said a board official.
Tours to the Himalayan country, which has adopted a controlled tourism and development policy to safeguard its rich natural environment and culture, are conducted by travel operators.
The hike in the daily tariff has been welcomed by Bhutanese tour operators.
The Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators (ABTO) said the revision will help tour operators deal better with inflation.
“Looking at the inflationary nature of the country’s economy and also the devaluation of the dollar in the last few months, the increase in tariff was necessary,” Sangay Wangchuk, general manager of Etho Meto Tours and Treks, told Bhutan Times newspaper.
“It is a good move. Now, the tour operators will be able to combat inflation better,” said proprietor of Diethelm Tours and Travels, Daychen Penjor.
Another tour operator said her travel agency had incurred a huge loss amounting to millions because of the dollar fluctuation and the subsequent increase in price of services.