It has been exactly one year since the country reopened its borders following the COVID-19 pandemic. It was reopened on the 23rd of September, last year. And in that period, more than 83,000 tourists arrived in the country. According to the Department of Tourism, the government collected over USD 20 M as the Sustainable Development Fee or SDF.
According to the Department of Tourism, nearly 26,000 dollar paying tourists came to Bhutan in the last one year.
Among them, over 10,000 paid the old SDF rate of USD 65, and about 15,000 paid USD 200 as SDF.
The government collected about USD 1 M as visa fees and about USD 17 M as SDF.
Likewise, a news release from the tourism department states that over 57,000 Indian tourists visited the country.
About Nu 300 M were collected as SDF from Indian tourists.
According to the Department of Tourism, the top ten nationalities visiting Bhutan are Indian, American, Malaysian, British, Singaporean, Vietnamese, Chinese, German, Australian, and French.
This year alone, nearly 63,000 tourists arrived in the country between January till the 21st of September.
The department says that the current number is in line with its forecast of attracting 95,000 guests to Bhutan this year.
Moreover, the department added that the revenue is on track to surpass the USD 23.42 M collected as SDF in 2019.
In the last one year, the tourism department has introduced several new policies and initiatives.
Revision of the SDF and monument fees along with the introduction of high-end fly fishing and golden mahseer expeditions are some of the new initiatives.
The Director General of the Department of Tourism says a lot of policy interventions were introduced to increase the number of tourists arriving in the country