Bhutan's Tourism Tax Updates - Unpacked SEP23
James Irving, of Bhutan & Beyond discusses Bhutan’s controversial SDF-Sustainable Development Fee.
Great news, Bhutan has reduced its SDF tourism fee by 50% effective 01SEP23 and valid for 4 years until 31AUG27.
Bhutan’s ‘Sustainable Development Fee’ (SDF) – Updated Q&A .
Q: What is the SDF fee in Bhutan?
A: SDF stands for ‘Sustainable Development Fee and it is levied on ‘international’ tourist vistors to Bhutan.
Q: Is the SDF a tax?
Whilst the SDF goes to supporting initiatives to protect Bhutan’s fragile & very unique ecology, partly by reducing the impact of mass tourism, it is also largely viewed as a tax on tourist visitors.
Q: How much is the SDF?
A: Here’s the good news. As of 01SEP23 the SDF has been reduced from USD200 per adult per night to USD100.00 per night. And even better that reduction in SDF fee has been extended until 31AUG 2027.
Q: Does the SDF cover touring costs in Bhutan?
A: No, the SDF is a separate fee levied by the Bhutanese Government and is payable on top of touring, accom, F&B, regular sales & service taxes and visa costs.
Q: Do children pay the SDF?
A: Yes, but at a 50% reduction for children 12 and under. They only pay USD50.00 per child per night in Bhutan.
Q: Has Bhutan’s tourism recovered since the SDF reduction?
A: Most certainly, 2024 is looking to be a very busy year for Bhutan’s tourism. The luxury lodges are already heavily booked in the peak season months MAR-MAY and OCT-NOV 2024.
Please book early for Bhutan as air seats are limited and hotel rooms are limited outside of the capital Thimphu.
Article by James Irving – Bhutan Travel Expert
James Irving – Bhutan Travel Expert.
James has worked in the travel industry for over 40 years & has been involved in the leisure, corporate, group, sport, incentive & wholesale Travel genres.
James loves rugby union, and keenly supports the Queensland Reds and the Australian Wallabies.