“Expensive” airfares to be reduced to boost tourism

In the midst of the frequent changes in the country’s tourism policy and their subsequent effect on the tourism industry, the government is now planning to reduce the airfare for tourists visiting the country. This was shared by the finance minister during the National Assembly today.  According to the minister, this is to boost the country’s tourist arrival rate as the “expensive” airfare is a common turn-off for tourists wanting to visit Bhutan.

The finance minister said that the government has implemented a variety of incentives such as reducing the Sustainable Development Fee, SDF from 200 US dollars to 100 US dollars per night per person. He said other schemes include allowing low-budget hotels for tourist accommodation and introducing various long-stay incentive packages. The government is now taking the incentive measure to airfares through possible reductions.

“The government is planning with Drukair Corporation and Bhutan Airlines to reduce the airfare for the tourists. This is part of the government’s incentive, considering the tourists complain about the expensive airfare,” said Finance Minister Namgay Tshering.

However, according to some of the members of parliament, the frequent changes in the SDF policy are not the best idea to boost the tourism industry.

“Tourists have said that the country’s policy is not certain. They have already started wondering when the current revision of 100 US dollars from 200 US dollars policy will change again. The tourism sector should work under a fixed policy. This uncertainty is the reason why foreigners do not trust our country,” said Opposition Leader Dorji Wangdi

The current airfare for tourists flying with both Drukair and Bhutan Airlines economy class is 810 US dollars per person for one round trip between Paro and Bangkok.

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