Bhutan Reopens to Vaccinated Travelers, Triples Visitor Tax

Bhutan Reopens to Vaccinated Travelers, Triples Visitor Tax


Bhutan Reopens To Vaccinated Travelers Without Quarantine from September 23, 2022, which is also when the kingdom's sustainable development fee more than triples from its previous $65 per person per day to $200 per person per day. Here are the new COVID-19 entry details in effect from 9/23/22:

  • Fully vaccinated travelers to Bhutan do not need to quarantine, and no COVID-19 testing is required. Visitors' vaccines must be WHO approved and must bring their original vaccine certificate as proof.
  • Unvaccinated children 11 years and younger, as well as visitors who have proof of having recovered from a COVID-19 infection within the last six months also don't need to quarantine, and no COVID-19 testing is required.
  • Unvaccinated travelers must quarantine for 5 or 6 nights and will be PCR tested.
  • Travel health insurance covering repatriation, medical expenses, air evacuation etc. is required.


Visitor Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)

As of 9/23/22, each visitor to Bhutan age 13 and older must pay an SDF tax of $200 per person per day. This fee goes directly to the government to upgrade infrastructure and protect the environment and cultural heritage. All accommodation, meals, guiding and activities are additional costs. Children ages 6-12 are afforded a reduced SDF of $100 per person per day, while children 5 years and younger are free. Visitors with Indian passports are charged INR 1200 (~$15) per day, although this preferential fee is subject to review in two years, so it may change as of September 2024.

Previously, the SDF fee was $65 per person per day and was part of the minimum package amount of at least $250 per day, which visitors booked exclusively through tour operators or hotels. Now, with the much higher SDF, visitors are free to put together their own itineraries, and book their own accommodation and guides directly, they need not go through a tour operator.


Where to Stay

Our clients have loved their stays with Amankora, particularly the incredibly intimate and scenic Amankora Gangtey lodge. One of our favorite ex-Aman GMs helped with opening the Six Senses Bhutan lodges, so if newer lodges are a priority, that is also an option. Or for those just wanting a peek at Bhutan together with other Asian destinations, consider the new Four Seasons Private Jet Asia Unveiled itinerary in January 2024.

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