Tourists can book a package holiday to Bhutan through both international and Bhutanese tour operators. Information is available from travel agencies.
The Royal Government of Bhutan sets minimum selling prices for packages to Bhutan and this must be paid in US dollars prior to arrival in Bhutan.
The minimum tariff for tourist visiting in a group of 3 persons or more are as follows:
High Season Tariff – USD 250 per person per night for the months of March, April, May, September, October, and November.
Season Tariff – USD 200 per person per night for the months of January, February, June, July, August, and December.
The minimum price includes:
All internal taxes and charges (including the royalty)
All travel with a licensed Bhutanese Tour Guide
All Internal Transport
Camping Equipment and Haulage for Trekking Tours
The rates are applicable per tourist per night halt in Bhutan. On the day of departure, the ‘local agents’ host obligation shall be limited to breakfast only and any extra requirements shall be payable on actual basis.
The rates shall apply uniformly irrespective of locations and the type of accommodation provided/asked for. List of hotels and lodges approved for international tourist accommodation updated from time to time shall be issued by TCB.
Individual tourists and smaller groups of less than three persons shall be subject to surcharge, over and above the minimum daily rates applicable, as follows:
Single individual US$ 40 per night
Group of 2 persons US$ 30 per person per night
The 10% agency commission payable to agents abroad shall not be deductible from the surcharge.
The surcharge will not be applicable to representatives of foreign travel agents on business study or promotional visit duly approved and cleared by TCB.
a) With effect from 01/07/2009, the government has revoked the 25% discount on Diplomatic visas.
b) There shall be no charge for CHILDREN up to the age of 5 years. However, those between the ages of 6-12 years accompanied by elders/ guardians shall be given 50% discount on daily rates and 100% discount on Royalty.
c) Full time STUDENTS below the age of 25 years holding valid identity cards from their academic institutions shall also be given a 25% discount on daily rates.
d) A discount of 50% on daily rates shall be given to one person in a group of 11 to 15 people. 100% discount shall be given to one member in a group exceeding 16 persons.
e) 50% discount on Royalty shall be provided after the 8th night and 100% discount on Royalty shall be provided after the 14th night.
f) Visitors availing discounts under Sections A, B & C shall not be eligible for discount under E.
Detailed information on Druk Air flights, tour and trekking programmes, festivals, places of interest, hotels, etc can be obtained from the tour operators.
Other than Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivian nationals, all visitors to Bhutan require a visa; all visas are issued from Thimphu; visas are only issued to tourists booked with a local licensed tour operator, directly or through a foreign travel agent. Applications for tourist visas are submitted by the tour operator. Visa clearance from Thimphu must be obtained before coming to Bhutan. Visa clearance takes at least 10 days to process. Air tickets to Bhutan cannot be purchased without visa clearance. At your point of entry the visa will be stamped in your passport on payment of US$20; two passport photos will also be required. Visas are issued for a 15-day period; extensions can be obtained in Thimphu at a cost of Nu 510.
Tour Programmes booked and subsequently cancelled shall be subject to cancellation charges as follows:
within 30 days of start of programme – no charges
within 21 days – 10% of rate
within 14 days – 15% of rate
within 7 days – 30% of rate
less than 7 days or without notice – 50% of rate
after arrival in Bhutan – 100%
There is no charge for delays in arrival and departure because of weather conditions disrupting flights or road blocks. The tourist must however bear the cost of food, accommodation, transportation, and other services required.
Note: INR (Indian Rupees) denominations of 500 and 1,000 are not accepted in Bhutan.
(Information courtesy: Tourism Council of Bhutan)