The minimum daily tariff of US$ 250 per person per night price tag discourages most travelers from visiting Bhutan. While it is an intended regulation by the Government to avoid Bhutan being overrun by mass tourism, however with a little research and advance planning, traveling to Bhutan does not necessarily have to be as expensive. In this article, we look at possible ways to lower your tour cost while traveling to Bhutan.
Traveling during the lean season
This is an obvious reason; most savvy passionate travelers take advantage of planning their trip to Bhutan during the lean season. Like another seasonal destinations around the world, tourism activity slumps during the lean traveling season. Summer and the winter seasons are generally categorized as the lean traveling season in Bhutan. The airlines struggle to fill in their seats and the hotel rooms rarely meet their desired room occupancy. Therefore travelers booking a trip to Bhutan during these periods can enjoy a lowered airfare from all sectors flying into Bhutan and also take advantage of the discounted hotel room rates. Another significant reduction is the tour price comes with the discount in the minimum daily tariff. During the lean season, a traveler is levied a minimum daily tariff of US$ 200 per person per night instead of US$ 250. Aside from the cost benefit, planning a trip during the lean season is much easier and convenient.
Traveling in a group of 3 or more people
This goes in tandem with the first point, traveling in a group of 3 or more people qualifies for the waiver of the FIT surcharge. Aside from the minimum daily tariff, a solo traveler is levied a FIT surcharge of US$ 40 per night and US$ 30 per person per night for a group of 2 people.
Exploring Eastern Region of Bhutan
The minimum daily tariff includes a sustainable development fee of US$ 65. Planning your itinerary that includes destinations in the eastern region of Bhutan can also lower your tour cost. The eastern region includes Mongar, Lhuntse, Tashigang, Tashi Yangtse, Pema Gatshel and Samdrup Jongkhar. To promote tourism in eastern Bhutan, the recent tourism regulation now offers waiver of the sustainable development fee to tourists spending nights in eastern Bhutan. Locals in eastern Bhutan are predominantly farmers and the districts are relatively underdeveloped as compared to the western region which is ideal for travelers looking to experience authentic traditional aspects of Bhutan. The eastern region also has many ancient temples and pilgrim sites for explorers interested in cultural tours and national parks and wildlife sanctuaries ideal for nature oriented tours.
Special Promotions Extended by Royal Government of Bhutan
The Royal Government of Bhutan extends special one-time promotion to specific nations to celebrate diplomatic ties between Bhutan and other nations. The promotion period is generally organized during the summer months of June, July and August. During this period, visitors holding passport of the nation the promotion is being extended to are entitled for the waiver of the minimum daily spending regulation. The hotels and airlines also offer significant discount. The special offer was extended to Korean nationals in 2017, Australian nationals in 2018 and such offers are expected in the future. Interested visitors should follow Tourism Council of Bhutan website for such updates.