Bhutan Ends Free Entry For Indian Tourists, Levies A Sustainable Development Fee As Number Of Tourists Surge

Bhutan Ends Free Entry  For Indian Tourists, Levies A Sustainable Development Fee As Number Of Tourists SurgeDrukair Royal Bhutan Airlines (Facebook)

In a major development, the Government of Bhutan has decided to put an end to the decades of free entry which was allowed to tourists, as it decided to levy a daily sustainable development fee (SDF) of Rs 1,200 ($17) for all tourists arriving from not just India but also Bangladesh and Maldives, reports The Hindu.

The SDF has been levied by the Bhutan in a bid to generate funds to assist the government in dealing with the surging numbers of tourists visiting the landlocked Himalayan nation.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that the SDF of $17 is much lower than the SDf of $65 levied by the Government of Bhutan on the tourists arriving from all other foreign countries, who are also charged an additional and compulsory flat charge of $250 a day.

However, given the Indian tourists mainly travel to the more developed western parts of Bhutan, the government has decreed that no SDF would be imposed on tourists visiting 11 of the total 20 districts which constitute the eastern parts of the nation.