Bhutan

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phuketrichard
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Bhutan

Post by phuketrichard »

Has long been on my bucket list and a friend and i had planned a trip as soon as they dropped the quarantine (7 days currently)

BUT will need to rethink this as they just raised the USD65 sustainable development fee to $200/DAY!!

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Before
$200/day ( in a group of 3 or more in low season)- $290( if travelling alone in high season)

What you got for that:
All internal taxes and charges
USD65 sustainable development fee used by government to provide free education, healthcare and building infrastructure
3 meals a day
A licensed English speaking Bhutanese tour guide throughout your trip
All transport on the ground including driver (excluding internal flights)
A minimum 3 star accommodation (4 & 5 star will require additional premium)
Entrance fees to tourists attractions
Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours (if applicable)
*Free loan of traditional costume (kira or gho)
*Free SIM card

so now it seems you can arrange ur own transport/driver/accommodations/etc./etc.

BUT if you go on the above list it will cost ya $335/person in a group of 3 + in low season ;-(

should have gone in 2019
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. HST
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Re: Bhutan

Post by truffledog »

so for a 10 day trip one should expect to spend around 5K ALL IN..double that as a couple. Is the Buthan experience really worth that much? Could stay in Cambodia at least 6 months for that pile of cash.
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phuketrichard
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Re: Bhutan

Post by phuketrichard »

truffledog wrote: Wed Jun 29, 2022 2:44 pm so for a 10 day trip one should expect to spend around 5K ALL IN..double that as a couple. Is the Buthan experience really worth that much? Could stay in Cambodia at least 6 months for that pile of cash.
From everyone i know who has been YES, worth it

Before; high season for 2 would run ya $530 /day; $250/day + $30 surcharge for 2 people

so now add on another $135/person and its $800 /day for 2
In a nation run by swine, all pigs are upward-mobile and the rest of us are fucked until we can put our acts together: not necessarily to win, but mainly to keep from losing completely. HST
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Re: Bhutan

Post by hanno »

Absolutely worth it. I went a few years ago and it was one of the best trips I did.
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Re: Bhutan

Post by CEOCambodiaNews »

Bhutan to welcome tourists 'who can spend' for first time since COVID-19
30 Jun 2022 10:09PM

KATHMANDU: Bhutan will reopen for international tourists from September for the first time since the pandemic began more than two years ago, officials said on Thursday (Jun 30), as the tiny Himalayan kingdom looks to revive its economy.

Wedged between China and India, the country with scenic natural beauty and ancient Buddhist culture, took drastic early steps and banned tourism, a major source of income, in March 2020 when the first COVID-19 case was detected there.

The constitutional monarchy of fewer than 800,000 people has reported fewer than 60,000 infections and only 21 deaths, but the US$3 billion economy contracted in the last two fiscal years, pushing more people into poverty.

The Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) said tourists would be allowed to enter from Sep 23.

They will, however, be charged a Sustainable Development Fee of US$200 per tourist per night, up from the US$65 charged for three decades. Officials said the new fee would offset tourists' carbon impact.

"COVID-19 has allowed us to reset – to rethink how the sector can be best structured and operated ... while keeping carbon footprints low," Tandi Dorji, TCB chairman and the country’s foreign minister, said in a statement.

Authorities said Bhutan had revised standards for service providers, such as hotels, guides, tour operators, and drivers.

Tourism employs 50,000 people and contributed an annual average of about US$84 million in the three years before the pandemic in direct foreign exchange.

Bhutan opened to high-end tourists in 1974 when it received 300 visitors. The number soared to 315,600 in 2019, up 15.1 per cent from a year earlier, TCB data showed.

Tour operators said visitors would be free to choose their own operators and plan itineraries, whereas before they could choose only from the packages offered by their operators.

Sangay Phuntso, who runs the Always Bhutan Travel company in the capital Thimphu, said the fees may deter some, but not the wealthier visitors.

"Those who can spend are welcome," Phuntso said. "We are excited."
Source: Reuters/gs
https://www.channelnewsasia.com/asia/bh ... ed-2783511
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truffledog
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Re: Bhutan

Post by truffledog »

CEOCambodiaNews wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 11:41 pm
"Those who can spend are welcome," Phuntso said. "We are excited."
This attitude makes me vomit. Greedy mofos.
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Re: Bhutan

Post by Anchor Moy »

truffledog wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:12 am
CEOCambodiaNews wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 11:41 pm
"Those who can spend are welcome," Phuntso said. "We are excited."
This attitude makes me vomit. Greedy mofos.
Yes and no. Theoretically, I agree with you truffledog, because of my basic beliefs in fairness/equality, and fk those bloody rich bastards etc(thatz a joke) or whatever.
BUT, on the other hand, if you had a nice unspoiled country, (like Bhutan), would you rather have busloads or planeloads of cheap uncouth zero-spending tourists, or would you rather have fewer tourists who spend more and litter less ?

And - as a tourist or a traveler - wouldn't you rather go somewhere far from the madding crowds of mass tourism ?
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Re: Bhutan

Post by hanno »

Anchor Moy wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:53 am
truffledog wrote: Sat Jul 02, 2022 1:12 am
CEOCambodiaNews wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 11:41 pm
"Those who can spend are welcome," Phuntso said. "We are excited."
This attitude makes me vomit. Greedy mofos.
Yes and no. Theoretically, I agree with you truffledog, because of my basic beliefs in fairness/equality, and fk those bloody rich bastards etc(thatz a joke) or whatever.
BUT, on the other hand, if you had a nice unspoiled country, (like Bhutan), would you rather have busloads or planeloads of cheap uncouth zero-spending tourists, or would you rather have fewer tourists who spend more and litter less ?

And - as a tourist or a traveler - wouldn't you rather go somewhere far from the madding crowds of mass tourism ?
Kenya and Tanzania tried two different approaches: Kenya went for the cheap tourists, Tanzania opted to make Safaris more expensive. As a result, Kenya got the mass tourism with people staying in all-inclusive resorts, getting drunk early in the morning and doing the cheapest two-day Safari available, leaving very little money in the country. Tanzania got visitors that were willing to spend considerably more and leaving a lot more money in the local economy.

Can't afford Bhutan? There is always Nepal.
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Re: Bhutan

Post by ressl »

Bhutan is a quite complex topic, when it comes to money. In 2016 I was the first Overlander ever, who drove through this country. Took a 7 months preparation with agencies and government officials involved. I paid $290 per day for the high season and $250 for the low season (the season changed while being there), no group (just me and a guide, the driver was waived, due to I drove myself). BUT:
Keep I mind, that this is an all inclusive thing. Visa, minimum 3* accommodation, all entry fares, driver, guide, car/bus and tourist special prepared tasteless crap food (convince your group and the guide to skip that tasteless junk and go to the local places! There the food is mindblowing). You have basically no extra expenses except souvenirs and tips.
All in all the best thing this country can do. I hope they keep it like that. This is not about being greedy, this is to protect their country from all the crap of the world and only get high quality tourists in. Of course, one might say that this might not work well for Chinese and Russians, on the other hand: what is triggering the new rich from those countries to go there, due to there are no luxury shopping malls (there are no shopping malls at all...).
Keep in mind, that Bhutan is primary for hiking to remote areas. Yes, you can do a road trip like I did, but you only see a tip on the iceberg (which is still amazing). Again, all the tents and food will be organized by the tour operator and are included I the daily fee.
In short: Visiting this country will give you impressions and emotions you will never, ever forget in your life and is worth every single cent

Edit:
Tour operators said visitors would be free to choose their own operators and plan itineraries, whereas before they could choose only from the packages offered by their operators
This is wrong. It was always possible to run your own itinerary at no extra cost. A good agency simply shuffled the MDPR costs

Edit2:
I read it again and again and I don't get, how you guys get to $300something. They said, they raised the SDF, but waived the MDPR. So basically it stays the same, but the additional costs are the tour agency. Well, IMHO a smart move, due to this will fire up competition and not just a usual itinerary for a fixed amount of money (like before). The service will not suffer, due to the included parts from the SDF stay the same and there is no profit to make here from the agencies. Thoughts?
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Re: Bhutan

Post by AM34 »

Went on a tour a few years ago and enjoyed it. You'd pay the same amount for a cruise or guided tour to any high income country in Europe, etc, so actually saw it as quite good value because the relative experience is quite unique.

There are plenty of cheaper ways to visit the Himalayas if cost is the main concern.
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