This South Asian Nation Just Cut Its Daily Visitor Fee in Half — What to Know

It's hoping to attract more travelers.

Bhutan will cut its daily visitor fee in half in an effort to attract more travelers.

The Himalayan country currently charges visitors a $200 per day sustainable development fee and will reduce that to $100 per night, according to the country’s Department of Tourism. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 will receive a further discount and only be subjected to $50 visitor fee per night.

The new rate will be implemented on Sept. 1 and remain in effect through 2027. The discount only applies to tourists who pay the fee in U.S. dollars.

“The Royal Government of Bhutan is pleased to announce additional incentives and policy measures to boost the tourism sector,” the government wrote in its announcement. “This is in view of the important role of the tourism sector in generating employment; earning foreign exchange; realizing the potential for spillover benefits for ancillary industries; and in boosting overall economic growth.”

The daily tourist fee was first raised to $200 last year when the country reopened to international travelers after the pandemic, according to Reuters. The increase was attributed to offsetting carbon generated by visitors. Previously, the fee was $65.

The decision to lower the fee comes ahead of the peak tourist period, the director general of the Department of Tourism told Reuters.

Travelers who do go to Bhutan will need to obtain a visa to travel there. In addition to the daily fee, travelers have to pay for a non-refundable visa application, which costs $40, and can either apply online or through a hotel or tour company. Those applying for a visa must also sign a “Pledge of Friendship" that is "committing to protecting, preserving, and positively contributing to our kingdom.”

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