Tourism In Bhutan
The Royal Government of Bhutan strongly follows the principle and policy of Low volume / high value tourism. Which means it believes and practice on the principle of sustainability – whereby tourism must be environmentally and ecologically friendly, socially and culturally acceptable and economically viable.
The Royal Government of Bhutan recognizes that tourism is a world wide phenomenon and an important means of achieving Socio-economic development particularly for countries like Bhutan.
In order to achieve the tourism principle and objectives, the Government since the start of tourism industry in 1974, has adopted a cautious approach to growth and development of tourism in Bhutan. In order to minimize the problem, the number of tourist has been maintained at a manageable level and this control on number is exercised through a policy of Govt. regulated tourist tariff and a set of administrative requirement.
All visitors to Bhutan are required to book through a registered tour operator in Bhutan. This can be done directly or through a travel agent abroad. However, It is usually best to book the tours directly through the tour operator to avoid agent commission.
The tour operator in Bhutan will arrange and handles all programme such as visa processing, hotel accommodation and all other ground arrangements.
Visitors and guests are given accommodation in a Government approved hotels and resorts. The Tourism Council of Bhutan has rated these hotels in star categories with respect to the facilities available.
All ground transportation with driver are arranged by the local tour operators and the fees are usually included in the overall tour package cost.The operators use Japanese Imported Coaster bus or luxury SUV vehicle.
With exception to Indian and Bangladesh nationals. All visitors to Bhutan requires a visa. visa can only be issued to the guest after tour package cost is deposited in advance to the Tourism Council accounts through the local tour operator. Visa processing is done by the tour operator prior to 1 month of travel dates. A letter of Visa approval will be sent to the guest by the Bhutan Tour operator with whom the tour is booked and the actual visa will be stamped on the passport upon arrival at the Airport. A copy of Passport and a scanned passport size photograph is required by the local tour operator for visa processing.
The minimum tariff for tourist visiting Bhutan in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:(W.E.F 1st Jan. 2012)
High season tariff ( March, April, May, September,
October and November) : US$ 250 per person per night halt)
Low season tariff: (January, February, June, July, August and December) : US $ 200 person per night halt)
The minimum daily tariff shall be inclusive of the following :
a) Government Royalty
b) Charges for accomodation in Govt. approved Hotels /Resorts
c) All foods (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner ) including Tea and snacks.
d) All transportation within Bhutan including Airport pickup and transfer.
e) Guide service
Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than 3 persons shall be subject to surcharge, over and above the minimum daily rates applicable.
Single individual : US $ 40 per night
Group of 2 persons : US $ 30 per night
a)Diplomats from foreign embassies/missions accredited to Bhutan shall be given 25% discount on daily rates.
b) There shall be no charge for children up to the age of 5 years. Children between 6 and 12 years old and accompanied by elders/guardians shall be given 50% discount on daily rates.
c) Full time students below the age of 25 years with valid identity card from their institutions shall be given 25% discount on daily tariff.
d) A discount of 50% on daily rates shall be given to 1 person in a group of 11 – 15 people. Similarly 100% discount shall be given to 1 person in a group exceeding 16 people.
ENTRY INTO BHUTAN
Entry points in to Bhutan are by road through Phuentsholing and Samdrupjongkhar in the South (Border with India) or by Air in Paro. Druk Air, the National carrier connects to the following Destination:
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