Until 2020, foreign tourists were charged a flat minimum fee of USD:250 per person per night for a fully organized tour, of which USD:65 went to the Royal Government of Bhutan to help fund free education and healthcare for Bhutan’s people.

Starting September 2022, foreign tourists are now charged a USD:200 per person per night Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) that the government says will further provide sustainable tourism development, tourism training, and carbon offsetting.

The other major change is that tour prices are no longer fixed, leaving tour companies free to charge what they want depending on the levels of service or activities, thus giving visitors some choice over things like hotel costs. The bad news is that travel costs are now in addition to the US$200 per day fee, not included. Comb through the small print, and you’ll find that families get a small break, paying 50% of the SDF (i.e., USD 100 per day) for kids aged six to twelve, and children under five being exempt from the fee entirely.

Another change is that foreign tourists now must pay entry fees to the main sights, ranging in price from Nu:2,000 (USD:25) for the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery to Nu 1,000 (USD:12.50) for most other popular temples and dzongs (fortress-like monasteries).