Bhutan sets tourism resumption date

Bhutan will resume for foreign tourists from September for the first time since the pandemic began more than two years ago, officials said on June 30 that the small Himalayan kingdom is trying to revive its economy. Stated.

The country between China and India, a country with scenic natural beauty and ancient Buddhist culture, was radical when the first COVID-19 case was detected in March 2020. We have taken initial steps to ban tourism, which is a major source of income.

With less than 800,000 parliamentary monarchies, less than 60,000 infections and only 21 deaths, the $ 3 billion economy has shrunk in the last two fiscal years, driving more people into poverty. rice field.

The Bhutan Tourism Council (TCB) said tourists will be admitted from September 23.

However, from $ 65 charged for 30 years, you will be charged a sustainable development fee of $ 200 per tourist per night. Authorities said the new rates would offset the impact on tourists’ carbon.

“COVID-19 has enabled a reset to rethink how to optimally structure and operate the sector while keeping carbon dioxide emissions low,” said the TCB Chair and Foreign Minister of the State. One Tandy Dorji said in a statement.

Authorities said Bhutan has revised the standards of service providers such as hotels, guides, tour operators and drivers.

The tourism industry employed 50,000 people and donated an average of about $ 84 million annually in the three years prior to the direct foreign exchange pandemic.

Bhutan welcomed 300 visitors in 1974 and was open to high-end tourists. According to TCB data, the number in 2019 surged 15.1% year-on-year to 315,600.

Tour operators have stated that visitors are free to choose their own operator to plan their itinerary, but previously they could only choose from packages provided by the operator.

Sangay Phuntso, who runs the Always Bhutan Travel company in the capital Thimphu, said prices may discourage some, but not wealthy visitors.

“People who can spend time are welcome,” Phuntso said. “We are excited.”


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