The Sustainable Development Fee (or Royalty) is now increased from US$ 65 to US$ 200 per night per person. This means a travelers will pay US$200 per night as SDF/royalty and pay additional for the actual travel cost; such as government approved hotels, vehicle, guide fee and meals. The old Minimum Daily Tariff of USD 250 (season) and USD200 (lean season) per person per night is no longer valid.
Bhutan strongly believes in a sustainable approach towards tourism, in line with the philosophy of Gross National Happiness and therefore you will have to buy a minimum daily package to get a visa for Bhutan.
The minimum daily tariff is US$250 per person per day during Spring (March, April and May) and Autumn (September, October and November) and US$200 per person per day during Winter (December, January and February) and Summer (June, July and August), making it appear as one of the world’s more expensive destinations. The minimum daily package tariff is not applicable for travelers from India, Bangladesh and Maldives.
If you are a solo traveler or if your group consist of only two people, you will have to pay a one/two people only supplement on top of the minimum daily tariff of USD 40 per day per person for solo and USD 30 per person per per day. Do note that your trip will be a private group and you will not be joining a group of strangers.
The minimum daily tariff covers the following:
- Shared rooms at a three star hotel. If you are a solo travelers you will get a room all for yourself. Hence the additional supplement of USD 40 per day.
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner. While breakfast will be at the hotel you stay at, lunch and dinner will be at a convenient restaurant or a hotel, depending on the Tour Operator.
- Certified travel guide. All travel guides have to undergo a training program and only upon passing their exams, they will be certified by the Tourism Council Of Bhutan to operate as a tour guide in Bhutan. Your guide will come to receive you at the airport and will be with you throughout the trip.
- Vehicle and driver. Depending upon your group size you will be assigned a private vehicle to travel across Bhutan. Solo travelers and groups of two people are usually assigned with a SUV.
- The USD 250/200 per day per person minimum daily tariff also includes a sustainable development fee of USD 65 per day per person. So in actual, you are only paying USD 185/135 per day per person to cover your travel expenses. This is also the reason why you should be careful with Tour Operators who offer you cheaper deals. You may think you are getting a cheaper deal but you may not get what other Tour Operators are giving their guest – the quality of hotel, meals, vehicle, guide and the over all experience of Bhutan.
- All museum and monument entrance tickets
If you wish to upgrade your hotel or want to execute multi day trekking, you will have a pay a supplement.
Breathe Bhutan being a quality and standard oriented entity; what we want our guest to take back is an expression, which eventually defines us as a person, our packages (within in the minimum daily tariff) includes the following:
- Hotels: We are very picky with where we keep our guests. The hotels we pick are hotels we personally like and which are also highly reviewed by our former guests. The three star hotels and accommodations we recommend are mostly family run and they not only provide excellent service but will also have something special in each one of them. In hotels like Gangtey Palace and Namgay Heritage, we do not use their standard rooms but upgrade the rooms to their deluxe rooms and other higher categories. Provided rooms are available.
- Water: We do not charge for the unlimited supply of packaged water. As a company, we are environmentally conscious and we are currently working on a way to reduce the use of single use plastic bottles.
- Meals: Unlike other tour operators, we do not dictate what you should eat and where you should eat. Our guides will always ask your mood for food and take you to appropriate restaurants. If you are eating your meals at the hotel, you do not necessarily have to eat from the buffet, you have the option to order from the menu.
- Guides: We are very selective with the tour guides we work with. They are highly experienced, humble and always ready to go out of their way to keep the guest happy.
- Vehicles: While traveling Bhutan, you will have to do a lot of vehicle travel and a comfortable vehicle is important. For one and two people in the group, we only assign four wheel SUV vehicles and they will not be older than 4 years. For more than two people, we use Toyota Hi Ace High Roof Travel Vans and has to be new or else in great condition.
- Nightlife in Thimphu: If you are someone who like live music or like to taste local beer and whiskey, we always take you to Mojo Park (a live music club) in Thimphu and we cover all expenses. Mojo Park is a great place to check out the nightlife culture in Bhutan, especially on the weekends.
- Others: You need to visit to unlock the other surprises.