WILL BHUTAN BE THE LAST SHANGRI-LA?
Bhutan has always been charging a hefty Sustainability Fee for the non-SAARC nations. So tourists from most countries were paying US$ 250 per person per day as a flat fee for a package of transport, guide, 3 star level accomodation and meals. For any upgrade from these services, one had to further shell out more. For a family of 4 this translates to a 1000$ expense per day which made it steep to plan a 1 week holiday in Bhutan. A part of this 250$ fee was the sustainability fee.
As Indians, we had a free party. That is going to end July 2020.
Now we need to pay Rs 1200 per person per day as Sustainability fee (Children under 5 are exempt and upto 12 years pay Rs 500)
You know what is extremely clever? There is no SDF applicable if you visit the eastern districts which still need tourists. Most of us focus on Paro, Thimphu and Punakha …all in the west.
I, for one, am extremely supportive of this move. In the world which is being brought to its knees with over-tourism, we need a few Shangri Las, some mystical paradise that still exists.
Some may think of this as an elitist view…but Bhutan with its sterling reputation of being one of the only carbon-negative destinations proves that it has its heart in the right place. It takes guts to take a step like this knowing that the biggest feeder market for the tourism & hospitality industry is next door! …..and given the way we all are polluting the earth, it will soon be time to happily pay that 1200 Rs for clean, fresh air!
#Panacheworld #bhutan #Shangrila #Sustainabilityfee #overtourism