Bhutan announces new tourism incentives - click here to read more

2024

11 June 2024

Notice Inviting Tender: The procurement of Air Tickets

The Ministry of Industry Commerce and Employment is pleased to invite sealed bids from the eligible license holders for the issuance of air tickets as per the following terms and conditions:

Click here to read more.

11 June 2024

Notice Inviting Tender: The procurement of Air Tickets

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment, Invites Sealed quotation from interested agents having valid licenses for the purchase and issue of Air Tickets to the following sectors.

Click here to read more.

29 April 2024

Quotation for flight ticket

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment, Invites Sealed quotation from interested agents having valid licenses for the purchase and issue of Air Tickets to the following sectors. Read more here.

27 April 2024

SOP for managemet of SDF waiver for 24 hours for border towns

Standard Operating Procedure for Management of Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) waiver for up to 24 hours for tourists visiting the border towns of Samtse, Phuentsholing, Gelephu and SamdrupJongkhar. Read more here.

24 April 2024

Quotation for flight ticket

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment (MOICE) invites sealed quotations from interested agents for the purchase and issue of air tickets as per the attached file. Read more here.

23 April 2024

Lifting of the requirement for mandatory travel insurance

The mandatory requirement of travel insurance for tourists visiting Bhutan was introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic to cover unforeseen emergencies including medical expenses relating to the pandemic.

The mandatory requirement of travel insurance is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect for processing visa to facilitate seamless travel for tourists. However, it is recommended for tourists to possess travel insurance as a precaution in case of unlikely emergencies associated with any international travel.

See the announcement here.

23 January 2024

Applications for MICE waiver

Bhutan announces SDF waiver for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) events

The Department of Tourism Bhutan is pleased to announce a new initiative to support the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector. Effective immediately, organisers of MICE events are now eligible to apply for a waiver of Bhutan’s daily Sustainable Development Fee (SDF), a move designed to bolster one of the most significant revenue streams of the tourism sector. This initiative aims to enhance the MICE market's impact, which extends through every layer of Bhutan's tourism industry, including local businesses and event venues. 

In 2019, Bhutan welcomed 904 MICE travelers, predominantly from Japan, the UK, Germany, and India, who significantly contributed to the local economy and community.

MICE event organizers can apply for an SDF waiver under the following conditions:

 1.    Eligible MICE events require a minimum of seven participants, excluding organizers, speakers, or hosts.

2.    Participants may receive a waiver for the SDF for up to four nights per event (excluding travel days).

3.    The event must be organized by a DOT-certified Bhutanese tour operator or hotel.

4.    The SDF waiver applies exclusively to the participants. Accompanying partners, children, and friends are not eligible.

5.    Eligible events can be scheduled throughout the year without blackout dates.

6.    Applications for the MICE SDF waiver must be submitted at this link at least one month prior to the event.

7.    Applicants are responsible for obtaining any additional required clearances or approvals.

8.    Only events categorized as Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions qualify for the SDF waiver.

9.    A comprehensive report, including the event's outcomes and photographs, must be provided to the Department of Tourism within one month after the guests' departure.

10. MICE participants can extend their stay in Bhutan as tourists by paying the applicable SDF.

Process:

1.     The applicants must submit their request via an online form (link provided above), at least one month before the event.

2.     The summary of the event, and a detailed day-wise program of the visit must be submitted at the time of application.

3.     Once the application is reviewed and approved, DOT will inform the applicant and at that point they can apply for their visa/entry permit application form as applicable through www.visit.doi.gov.bt

4.     The applicant should submit the list of participants including their designation, company details, and their passport copies for approval prior to the event. The passports must be valid for at least six months from the intended date of departure from Bhutan.

5.     A summary of the event, including the outcomes and photographs must be submitted by the organizing agency to the Department of Tourism within one month of the departure date of the guests.

 

“The MICE market is one of the highest revenue contributors to the global tourism industry. Recognizing the significant economic advantages that MICE business can bring into Bhutan, we feel it is very important to provide incentives to attract more group business Bhutan. As such, we are pleased to waive the daily sustainable development fee for MICE events,” concluded Dorji Dhradhul, the Director General of the Department of Tourism.

About the SDF:

The Sustainable Development Fee (SDF), serves as a daily contribution by tourists towards the nation's development. The SDF is utilized transparently and responsibly by the Royal Government of Bhutan. This fund aids various sectors such as healthcare, education, environment, culture, and economy, fostering long-term sustainable opportunities for Bhutanese citizens. As a carbon-neutral nation, Bhutan leverages the SDF to uphold its exceptional forest cover and carbon neutrality, ensuring a serene experience for visitors. Last September, Bhutan introduced a 50% reduction in the SDF rate, effective until August 31, 2027, with incentives for children. The new rates are USD 100 per adult per night; while children between the ages of 6 and who have not yet turned 12 pay a reduced rate of USD 50 per night. Children who have not yet turned six years old do not pay any SDF fee. The revised fee structure enhances Bhutan's appeal as an environmentally conscious and welcoming destination.

June - September 2023

29 September 2023

Interim tourist-guide ratio

Since the re-opening of tourism in the country from September 23rd 2022, the Department has validated a total of 1,765 tour guides. However, there is still a large number of tourist guides who have yet to apply for validation. It is also possible that some of the tour guides who have been validated are currently not active, leading to artificial shortage of tour guides.

To determine the actual number of active tour guides in the country and confirm their availability for providing guiding services, the Department will soon be conducting a survey in collaboration with the GAB.

Meanwhile, the Department is temporarily changing the guide:tourist ratio requirement to 1:22. This will allow a guide to manage a maximum of 22 tourists and this is applicable to all certified and validated tour guides. The tourists under the same guide should be either part of the same group or coming through the same service providers/ground handlers. This interim arrangement will come into effect immediately and will remain in place until further notice.

This interim arrangement is being pursued based on the feedbacks received from the Pedestrian Terminal, Phuntsholing and the Guide Association of Bhutan (GAB).

CLICK HERE TO VIEW DETAILS

25 August 2023

Press Release on Introduction of Incentives for the Tourism Sector

August 25, 2023

The Royal Government of Bhutan is pleased to announce additional incentives and policy measures to boost the tourism sector. This is in view of the important role of the tourism sector in generating employment; earning foreign exchange; realizing the potential for spillover benefits for ancillary industries; and in boosting overall economic growth.

The incentives and measures shall consist of the following:

1. A fifty percent discount shall be granted on the prevailing SDF of USD 200 for US Dollar paying tourists visiting Bhutan. The effective SDF with the discount shall be USD 100 per person per day for US Dollar paying tourists.

2. In addition, fifty percent discount on the SDF shall be granted on the rates applied to children aged between 6 to 12 years for US Dollar paying children visiting as tourists.

3. The 24 hours SDF waiver for tourists staying in the border towns shall continue.

The above incentives will come into effect from 1 September 2023 and shall remain effective for four years till 31 August 2027.

The Royal Government shall conduct periodic assessments of the domestic and international tourism scenarios and may discontinue the above incentives to uphold and promote High Value Low Volume Tourism Policy of Bhutan after 31 August 2027.

01 June 2023

Lifting the Restrictions for Tourists Visiting Monument Sites on Designated Auspicious Days

The National Monument Fund and Supervision Committee has confirmed that the restriction for tourists and visitors to visit designated monuments on designated auspicious days is hereby lifted with immediate effect.

Therefore, the designated monuments shall be opened to all regardless of the day until further notice.

01 June 2023

FAM and Press Trips for international press and travel agents

FAM trips for international travel agents and press / KOLs who wish to visit Bhutan with an SDF waiver have now been confirmed, provided that they meet the requirements.

There are Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) outlining the rules and requirements for FAM and Press trips which are available to view at the following links:

FAM trips

Press and influencer trips

To apply for a FAM or Press trip, please follow the instructions in the SOP. There is a form that needs to be filled out, which will be sent to DoT to be reviewed and verified for every trip.

Please do let us know if you have any questions. You can also email:

Famtrip@tourism.gov.bt

Presstrip@tourism.gov.bt

04 May 2023

Notification on Introduction of Star 1 and 2 Hotels to Cater to Tourists

The Lengye Zhungtshog vide letter no. C-3/141/2023/1612 dated April 24, 2023 has approved hotels with a rating below 3 stars to provide services to tourists, subject to fulfillment of minimum standards. The Department of Tourism would like to inform the public of the following:

1. The existing Tourist Accommodation and Standardization and Classification System, consisting of 3 star, 4 star and 5 star hotel, will be extended to include 1 star and 2 star categories.

2. Non-star hotels that have been assessed and found qualified for Blue Poppy 1 will be I star and Blue Poppy 2 will be 2 star rating.

3. The Department will formally notify hotels of their assessment results of Phase I and Phase

Il from May 5, 2023.

4. Non-star hotels that have not been certified by the Department will be required to undergo assessment and meet the minimum standards, if they wish to provide services to tourists.

Assessment of these hotels will commence from June 5, 2023. The Department will disseminate the procedures and supporting documents required for assessment and certification. To ensure timely assessment, Dzongkhags will be authorized for assessment where possible.

5. In locations without any certified tourist hotels rated I star and above, existing hotels will be allowed to cater to tourists on a time bound provisional basis, upon fulfillment of criteria determined by the Department.

6. Homestays certified by the Department, as per the existing practice, are also authorized to serve tourists in addition to certified tourist hotels.

We kindly request your support and cooperation in complying with this notification. For further clarification, please contact Ms. Deki at 17627540 or Ms. Pema Deki at 17905404 during office hours.

Offtg Director General, Department of Tourism

April ‘23

25 April 2023

Tourist Guide Validation

The Department of Tourism has been conducting a series of validation of tour guides, hotels and tour operators to assess their readiness to cater services to tourists. The next round of validation for tourist guides who missed the previous validation will be held on 4th May 2023 in Thimphu. The exact venue and time will be communicated as soon as it is confirmed.

Therefore, tourist guides are required to submit an application to the Chief Tourism Officer, Standards and Compliance Division, either in hard copy or email at kyangki@moice.gov.bt latest by 28th April 2023 within 5.00 PM. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Those guides who have already submitted their applications need not resubmit.

It may be noted that tour guides who have not successfully completed the readiness test are not allowed to engage in guiding services. Those violating the rules will be dealt as per the Tourism Rules and Regulations 2022. For queries and clarification, please contact Ms. Karma Yangki at 16921198 during office hours.  

14 April 2023

SOP for Management of Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) waiver for up to 24 hours

Standard Operating Procedure for Management of Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) waiver for upto 24 hours for tourists visiting the border towns of Samtse, Phuentsholing, Gelephu and SamdrupJongkhar. 

The Royal Government of Bhutan vide Public Notifications; S-20/2023/385 and S- 20/2023/387 dated March 30, 2023 has approved the waiver of Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) for casual visitors including tourists of all nationalities for visits upto 24 hours in the border towns of Samtse, Phuentsholing, Gelephu and SamdrupJongkhar as long as they do not travel beyond the designated zone of the border towns. The SDF waiver has been approved for a period of one year with effect from 14 April 2023.

In the context of the above decision, the Department of Immigration (DoI), Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Department of Tourism (DoT), Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment adopts this SOP to provide the operation guideline for the management of SDF waiver for casual visitors including tourists of all nationalities for upto 24 hours visiting the border towns of Samtse, Phuentsholing, Gelephu and SamdrupJongkhar.

This SOP shall remain valid till 13 April 2024.

SOP of Management of SDF wavier for unto 24 hours

01 April 2023

Requirement of pre-booking of riding horse services for Taktsang

Following new requirements introduced by the Paro Dzongkhag, all guests are now required to pre-book horse riding services for the Taktsang trail.

This follows the introduction of the Taktsang services Management Group, which is aimed at improving the quality of services and avoiding unnecessary problems arising due to lack of organized service providers. Guest safety will also be enhanced as there are new safety protocols and standards in place. 

As part of this, all horse-riding service providers are required to now provide their service through the management team, instead of waiting at Ramthangka on a daily basis.  

Any guests who require horse riding services are required to place advance booking through the following numbers:  

1. Phub Dorji - Treasurer (Accounts) (77711481)

2. Khandu - Chairman, (17 657 286)

3. Khandu - Secretary, (17 535 622)

If bookings are not made in advance, guests will need to wait in turns, which will be determined by the on-site management team.

This requirement comes into effect from Sunday April 02, 2023.

March ‘23

15 March 2023

Tourism Product Development Guidelines

Tourism product development is a necessary step towards enhancement of overall tourism development in the country. Towards this end, erstwhile Tourism Council of Bhutan developed Bhutan Tourism Product Development Guidelines with objectives, among others, to assist planning and design, development and operations of tourism products. The guidelines were developed involving the relevant agencies with the funding support received from ICIMOD, Nepal through Nature Conservation Division, Department of Forest and Agriculture, MoAF.

Since then, the guidelines have greatly helped in strengthening synergies for tourism product development within the sectors of both government and non-governmental organizations. It has immensely contributed in the improvement of collaborations among stakeholders whilst also helping to channelize limited resources to bring huge impact in the overall tourism development in the country.

The guidelines provide useful information for the Proponents to navigate through the information and processes which otherwise can be overwhelming especially for the new entrants into the tourism industry. However the guidelines do not create a step-wise guide to starting and operating a tourism business.

Product Development Guideline

07 March 2023

Tourists buying gold from the duty-free Shops in Phuntsholing & Thimphu

All tourists can buy 20 grams of gold if they fulfil the following requirements:

1. Pay Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)

2. Produce receipt for spending a minimum of one night in a Department of Tourism certified hotel.

3. Pay in USD

4. Produce visa/permit copy. Or SDF payment receipt issued by the Department of Revenue and Customs

5. Submit a photocopy of the passport and voter identity card also accepted for Indians.


Duty-Free Shops: Location & Contact Numbers

  1. Phuntsholing

        Address: Bank of Bhutan (Main Branch)

        Contact: 17455553

        Opening Hours: 10 AM – 3 PM (Monday – Friday) & closed on weekend

    2.  Thimphu

        Address: Norzin Lam, Chubachu

        Contact: 17856807

        Opening Hours: 10 AM – 3 PM (Wednesday – Monday) & closed on Tuesday only.


Gold Price:

Please find the link below to check gold prices sold by the Bhutan Duty-Free Limited (BDFL) shops. And please take note of the ‘IMPORTANT’ advisory.

Click here to see the gold price

06 March 2023

Facilitating movement of tourists at interior checkpoints

A negative list approach has been adopted for tourists, whereby, the requirement of Route Permit for tourists has been lifted.

Under the negative list approach, a tourist with a Bhutanese guide can travel to any part of the country except areas classified as prohibited or restricted (lists attached below) without having to produce a route permit or stop at internal checkpoints.

In this regard, after a tourist has been facilitated entry via designated land ports at Phuentsholing, Gelephu, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse and Paro International Airport, movement of all tourists at all interior checkpoints such as Rinchending ICP will be facilitated without any let or hindrance as long as they are accompanied by a DOT certified guide. There is no need to record their entry/exit in the Immigration Information Monitoring System at interior checkpoints.

See Prohibited Areas list

See Restricted Areas list

Note: However, tourists will be allowed to visit restricted areas identified as trekking routes by the Department of Tourism if accompanied by DOT certified trekking guide.

Archive

17 April 2024

Quotation for flight ticket

The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment, Invites Sealed quotation from interested agents having valid licenses for the purchase and issue of Air Tickets as per the file attached.

See here.

28 September 2023

Quotation for flight ticket

The Department of Tourism would like to invite sealed bid from eligible ticketing firms for the following sectors (See the attachment).

The last date for submission of sealed quotation for the above tickets is on or before 1PM on 29th September 2023

The tender will be opened at 2:30PM on the same day in the DOT conference hall B. Only HARD COPY is accepted, via email will be rejected. Quoted amount should be in Ngultrum.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW DETAILS

28 September 2023

Quotation for flight ticket

The Department of Tourism would like to invite sealed bid from eligible ticketing firms for the following sectors (See the attachment).

The last date for submission of sealed quotation for the above tickets is on or before 1PM on 29th September 2023

The tender will be opened at 2:30PM on the same day in the DOT conference hall B. Only HARD COPY is accepted, via email will be rejected. Quoted amount should be in Ngultrum.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW DETAILS

25 September 2023

Quotation for flight ticket

The Department of Tourism would like to invite sealed bid from eligible ticketing firms for the following sectors.

The last date for submission of sealed quotation for the above tickets is on or before 1PM on 27th September 2023. The tender will be opened at 2:30PM on the same day in the DOT conference Hall B. Only HARD COPY is accepted, via email will be rejected. Quoted amount should be in Ngultrum.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW DETAILS

19 September 2023

Selection Interview Result for the Project Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officer for GEF Ecotourism Project

The Department of Tourism under Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment is pleased to announce the selection interview (visa voce) result for the post of Project Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for GEF Ecotourism Project.

The appointment of the selected candidate shall be w.e.f 1st October 2023 and the selected candidate must report to the Project Management Unit, DOT with the following documents for the appointment on 1st October 203 at 9:30 AM. Failing to report on the stipulated date, the candidature will be cancelled thereof and post may be given to the next candidate or re selection may be conducted, depending on the decision of PSC.

1. Two legal stamps;

2. Two passport size photos; and

3. A copy of CID;

CLICK HERE TO VIEW RESULT

Project Management Unit

GEF Ecotourism Project

17 August 2023

Vacancy Announcement

The Project Management Unit (PMU) under the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment is pleased to announce the vacancy for the following post under GEF Ecotourism Project.
Position Title: Project Monitoring and Evaluation Officer (M&E Officer)

For detail, click the link below:

Click here to view announcement

Click here to view TOR

03 August 2023

Quotation for flight ticket

The Department of Tourism would like to invite sealed bid from eligible ticketing firms for the following sectors (See the attachment).

The last date for submission of sealed quotation for the above tickets is on or before 2PM on 4th August 2023.

The tender will be opened at 2:30PM on the same day in the DOT conference hall B. Only HARD COPY is accepted, via email will be rejected. Quoted amount should be in Ngultrum. Please refer TOR before you submit your quotation.

Click here to see attachment

11 July 2023

Tender Announcement

The Department of Tourism is looking for local photographer/videographer to come up with Haa Summer Festival 2023 photos and videos from 14th – 16th July, 2023. The interested bidders with valid license holders may participate in this tender and submit your tender documents on or before 13th July, 2023, 1pm. Kindly submit your tender in hardcopy mentioning your full package cost/rate to the Admin Officer, Department of Tourism during office hours.

02 July 2023

Quotation for flight tickets

The Department of Tourism would like to invite sealed bids from eligible ticketing firms for the following sectors (see attached file).

The last date for submission of sealed quotation for the above tickets is on or before 2PM on 3rd July 2023.

The tender will be opened at 2:30PM on the same day in the DOT conference hall B.  Only HARD COPY is accepted, submissions via email will be rejected.  Quoted amount should be in Ngultrum. Please refer TOR before you submit your quotation.

Quotation for flight ticket

01 May 2023

Selection result for Tourism Operator Assistant.

The Department of Tourism is pleased to announce the selection result for the post of Tourism Operator Assistant held on 28th April 2023. 

The Selected candidates are requested to report to the chief of Innovation and Strategy Division on 3rd May 2023 at 9:00 am.

Candidates list

27 April 2023

WE ARE HIRING (Livelihoods and Business Development Expert)

GEF Ecotourism Project under the Department of Tourism is hiring Livelihoods and Business Development Expert. Interested eligible candidates may apply through eGP on or before May 26, 2023, using the following link. 

Click here to apply

For further details please contact Mr Jigme Dorji at jigmed@tourism.gov.bt

24 April 2023

Quotation for flight ticket

The Department of Tourism would like to invite sealed bid from eligible ticketing firms for the following sectors (See the attachment).

The last date for submission of sealed quotation for the above tickets is on or before 2 PM on 25th April 2023.

The tender will be opened at 2:30 PM on the same day in the DOT conference hall B. Only HARD COPY accepted, via email will be rejected. The quoted amount should be in Ngultrum. Please refer to TOR before you submit your quotation.

Flight quotation

27 March 2023

Tender for flight ticket

The Department of Tourism would like to invite sealed bid from eligible ticketing firms for the following sectors (See the attachment).

The last date for submission of sealed quotation for the above tickets is on or before 2 PM on 28th March 2023.

The tender will be opened at 2:30 PM on the same day in the DOT conference hall B

Sectors

15 March 2023

Rhododendron Festival 2023

We have been informed that the annual Rhododendron Festival will happen from April 22 - 24, 2023 at the Royal Botanical Park in Lamperi as compared to the 17 – 19 April as announced initially. The change in date is due to the upcoming election for the National Council (NC) elections that is scheduled for the 20th of April. As per the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB), any large gatherings involving the public are to be avoided up until and during election periods.

Therefore, we would like to request to take note of the change in date and accordingly make travel plans for those interested in joining the Rhododendron Festival 2023.

Department of Tourism

15 March 2023

Re-announcement for the post of Safeguard Expert

GEF-UNDP Ecotourism Project “Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into the Tourism Sector in Bhutan” under the Department of Tourism, MoICE, is pleased to invite applications from interested BHUTANESE candidates for the post of Safeguard Expert.

For details and ToR, please visit https://www.egp.gov.bt

GED Hiring (Safe guard)

February 2023

Invitation for the post of Safeguard Expert & Gender Expert

We are hiring!

The Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Employment is hiring Safeguard Expert and Gender Expert to work for the GEF-UNDP funded Ecotourism Project.

Contact Mr. Tashi Tenzin, Project Manager at tashi@tourism.gov.bt for any clarification. 

Application deadline: 15th February 2023, 5pm.

GEF Hiring

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