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Bhutan exploring ways to incentivize tourism industry

2023 May 05, 15:52,

Bhutan government has been looking into incentives for travellers to come and stay longer in the Himalayan country.

According to Bhutan Live, Prime Minister Lotay Tshering suggested granting promotional reductions on the sustainable development fee (SDF) for visitors who stay longer than their original reservation during a recent meeting with officials from several industries.

In order to position Bhutan as a family destination for people, the Bhutanese PM also vouched for waiving the SDF for tourists under 18 years of age.

The notion put up by the tourism sector that the SDF for foreign workers coming to Bhutan is waived was also put forth by the Prime Minister. Immigration regulations currently pose substantial challenges to recruiting foreign specialists to Bhutan to assist in employee training, Bhutan Live reported.

The government intends to provide the suggested incentives, which may include waiving the SDF for the first five days of a visitor's stay, until December 31, 2024.

While the Tourism Levy Act 2022 prohibits the government from waiving the SDF of USD 200 per night for tourists, the Department of Tourism can offer exemptions or concessionary levy rates. According to Section 9 of the Act, the competent authority may provide for an exemption or concessionary levy rate on the applicable SDF, subject to any conditions prescribed in the rules.

The government is proposing a triple seven policy for lengthier stays, which would mandate payment of the SDF for the first seven days, 50 per cent of the SDF for the next two weeks, and no SDF for the third and final week, reported Bhutan Live.


Bhutan Industries of Bhutan Department of Tourism Lotay Tshering
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