Sustainable Development Fee (SDF)
What is the SDF and how is it used?
The SDF is the Sustainable Development Fee, a daily levy paid by visitors to support Bhutan’s development. Since the kingdom first opened its doors in 1974, guests have played a critical role in the country’s growth. As we reopen on September 23rd 2022, this partnership is once again evolving to enable us to protect and preserve our kingdom and its priceless assets. It also helps us to ensure that tourists visit in sustainable numbers and that we can continue to offer guests tranquillity and an intimate experience.
The SDF is collected by the national exchequer and funds are allocated to various projects that enhance facilities, services and infrastructure for Bhutanese nationals and visitors, as well as funding free healthcare and education.
How much is the SDF?
For all visitors except those from India, the SDF is US$200 per person, per night. For guests from India the SDF is 1,200 ngultrum, or the equivalent amount in Indian rupees, per person, per night.
Children aged 6 to 12 at the time of travel receive a 50% concessionary discount on their SDF. Those aged 5 or younger are exempt.
Day visitors to the Bhutanese towns bordering India are also exempt from paying the SDF until they reach a point designated by the Bhutanese government.
If I cancel my trip will my SDF be refunded?
Yes, the SDF will be refunded by the Department of Immigration for any cancelled or shortened trips; any bank charges will be deducted from the total refunded. Requests for SDF refunds should be submitted online using the visa portal. The refund will be processed after visitors leave Bhutan.