Photography: Marcus Westberg
In 2022, Bhutan strategically reshaped its tourism strategy to align with global trends, embracing sustainability, immersive experiences and responsible travel. This shift introduced the Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of USD $200 per person per night, channeling funds into impactful conservation, free healthcare and education and crucial infrastructure upgrades that enhance the guest experience.
The SDF drives transformative initiatives spanning culture, heritage, environment, infrastructure, youth opportunities and guest experiences, enabling visitors to offset carbon footprints, uplift tourism skills, maintain trails, reduce fossil fuel use and promote transportation electrification, all contributing to Bhutan’s holistic progress. This policy notably influences Bhutan’s conservation, sustainability, and responsible tourism efforts.
SDF-generated revenue supports vital conservation and environmental projects while fostering eco-conscious tourism practices, affirming Bhutan’s stance as a responsible travel destination that nurtures meaningful connections between travellers, communities, cultures and nature.