Jun, 2024

How much is the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) for Bhutan?

What is Bhutan Sustainable Development Fees (SDF)?

The Bhutan Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) is a fee imposed by the government of Bhutan on tourists visiting the country. The fee is part of Bhutan's "High Value, Low Impact" tourism policy, which aims to preserve the country's natural environment, cultural heritage, and overall sustainability while promoting high-quality tourism.

The revenue generated from the SDF is used to fund various developmental projects in Bhutan, including environmental conservation, infrastructure development, cultural preservation, and social services. This ensures that tourism benefits the country and its citizens while minimising negative impacts.

Certain exemptions or reduced rates may apply to tourists from countries within the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) or to specific groups such as children

Latest Sustainable Development Fees for Bhutan

On the 25th August 2023, The Royal Government of Bhutan published a press release to announce additional incentives and policy measures to boost the tourism sector in Bhutan. 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 incentives and measures shall consist of the following:

1. A fifty percent discount shall be granted on the prevailing SDF of USD 200 for US Dollar paying tourists visiting Bhutan. The effective SDF with the discount shall be USD 100 per person per day for US Dollar paying tourists.

2. In addition, fifty percent discount on the SDF shall be granted on the rates applied to children aged between 6 to 12 years for US Dollar paying children visiting as tourists.

3. The 24 hours SDF waiver for tourists staying in the border towns shall continue.

The above incentives will come into effect from 1st September, 2023 and shall remain effective for four years till 31st August, 2027.

The Royal Government shall conduct periodic assessments of the domestic and international tourism scenarios and may discontinue the above incentives to uphold and promote High Value Low Volume Tourism Policy of Bhutan after 31st August 2027.

What is the current SDF for Bhutan?

The current Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) is at USD100 per adult per night.
USD50 for children aged 5 to below 12 years old. For children below 5 years, the SDF is waived.

Bhutan SDF for Regional Tourists from India

Regional tourists from India are required to apply for a permit and pay 1200 INR/night.

Bhutan SDF for Regional Tourists from Maldives

Tourists from Maldives are required to pay USD100 per adult per night but they are able to apply for a visa upon arrival. 

Bhutan SDF Special Scheme for Bangladeshis 

The Royal Government of Bhutan has announced that the first 15,000 Bangladeshi tourists visiting Bhutan each year can pay a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of USD 15 per night starting June 2.
This special scheme will be valid until 2027.

Bangladeshi tourists can apply for a visa online or obtain it upon arrival. 

The SDF does not include accommodation, meals, transport and guides.

To find out more information about how to travel to Bhutan, get in touch with Druk Asia, Bhutan travel specialist. 
Tags: Bhutan, bhutan sustainable development fee, sdf, travel to bhutan
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