Bhutan Australian Friendship Offer - Special promotional offer for Australians visiting Bhutan

Hi my name is Gary. I have read online that the Government of Bhutan is offering a special offer for Australian nationals travelling to Bhutan in 2018. I have been planning to visit Bhutan and did some research. I am aware about the US$ 250 minimum daily spending regulated by the Government. Can anyone tell me how does this special offer vary from the usual minimum daily tariff? Thanks in advance for the assistance.
Hi Gary,

What you should know is that US$ 250 minimum daily tariff includes:
1. US$ 65 sustainable development fee
2. accommodation at a 3 star hotel rated by Tourism council of Bhutan
3. Personal certified local tour guide
4. Ground transportation while in Bhutan
5. All meals

With the special offer however, you will no longer need to pay US$ 250 per night. You only pay the sustainable development fee of US$ 65 per person per night. All other logistics (hotel booking charges, transportation charges, meals and guide charges) can be booked with a local travel agent offering the best deals that covers your need.
Gary, with the special offer, you are only subject to paying the daily sustainable development fee of US$65 per person per night. Without the offer, generally a tourist pays an all-inclusive daily tariff and the tour operators arrange all your travel needs, however with this offer, aside from paying the SDF, you are allowed to the freedom to book and pay for all travel service availed such as hotels, car, guide and meals as per your preference.

But certain regulations may still apply such booking your travel plan with a local tour operator and staying at a hotel rated a minimum of 3 star by Tourism Council of Bhutan.
How can I get in touch with a local travel agent? How can I be certain that the company is a genuine service provider considering that I have to make 100% advance payment?
Hi Ariana,

I understand your concern. Royal Government of Bhutan has set an autonomous agency to regulate the tourism industry called Tourism Council of Bhutan. All tour service providers must be registered and certified by this agency. The agencies website list all the certified tour operators and it should also have a link to their website with contact details. So I would suggest that while dealing with any service provider online, be sure to cross check if the agency is listed on Tourism council website.

However it is true that all payment must be done in advance. Tourism Council of Bhutan will only approve your visa processed by your local tour operator upon confirmation your payment from the bank.

Payment = minimum daily tariff * number of nights in Bhutan + 1 time visa processing fee + individual traveler surcharge(applicable only for up to to 2 guests)
Ariana, prior to approving a tourist visa, Tourism Council of Bhutan cross checks if the total amount paid by the traveler equals the minimum daily tariff multiplied by the number of nights the traveler intends on staying in Bhutan.
Therefore advance payment for your trip to Bhutan is mandatory as it enables TCB to regulate the Minimum Daily Tariff.

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