Home / News / India /  Bhutan reopens its gates with new rules, here's how much a visit will cost

After being closed for two and a half years on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, the India-Bhutan border gates in Assam and West Bengal have been reopened for tourists, an official said on Saturday. He added that the gates have been reopened with some new rules including a cost for sustainable development.

Bhutan's Consul General at Guwahati Jigme Thinley Namgyal announced the reopening of international border gates at Samdrup-Jongkhar in Tamulpur district, Dadgiri and Gelephu in Chirang, Namlang and Panbang in Baksa and Samrang in Udalguri district.

In West Bengal, the border gate at Jaigaon in Alipurduar district was thrown open for the resumption of people’s movement.

Members of the Indo-Bhutan friendship Association were present at the occasion. The gates will remain open from 9 am to 5 pm.

Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tshering was present on the occasion at Phuentsholing, across the border in Alipurduar district.

Sustainable development fee

The government of Bhutan will charge a sustainable development fee (SDF) from the tourists to improve services and infrastructure development for the tourism sector. in addition that fee will also cover the expenses of environmental conservation.

According to the official,

  • if tourists who wish to stay in Bhutan, the fee for Indian travellers will be 1,200 per day,
  • for those coming from other countries, the fee has been fixed at US $200.

In addition to the fee, visitors from India will have to produce a voter ID card, passport or any other identity proof at the immigration check posts, while children have to produce birth certificates.

Eco-tourism, bird watching, and other tour packages have been planned by the Bhutan government for tourists, the official said.

Rules and standard operating procedures (SOP) have been established to promote smooth travel and provide visitors a pleasant experience in the Himalayan nation.

Bhutan Tourism welcomed tourists into the country with a tweet on Friday. The tweet read, "Into a timeless pristine land of lores; With a cool climate and warm hearts. With a deeply rooted culture with an eye on the future. Welcome back to this land of happiness and possibility. Welcome to #Bhutan #Bhutanbelieve #BhutanIsForYou #VisitBhutan #BhutanReopening."

The Prime Minister of Bhutan had unveiled the new 'Brand Bhutan' at Thimphu on Thursday to encourage Bhutanese to be responsible for protection of heritage.

(With inputs from PTI)

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