SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FEE
What is SDF?
Sustainable Development Fee or SDF is like a royalty that a visitor as tourist must pay in order to get a visa for Bhutan.
How SDF is used?
SDF is USD 100 per person per night and this fee does not cover the actual cost of travel. This means a travelers will pay US$100 per night as SDF/royalty and pay additional for the actual travel cost; such as government approved hotels, vehicle, guide fee and meals.
The SDF is directly transferred to the government revenue account. SDF is one of the major revenue sources for the government for public infrastructure development. Revenue sourced from the Tourism is allocated for public spending though the government budgetary allocations for construction of schools, roads, bridges, health infrastructure, investment on environment, waste management, investment on tourism development activities etc. Therefore, every tourist visiting Bhutan contributes to the wellbeing of citizens and infrastructure development of Bhutan.
When do I pay the SDF?
When applying for a visa to enter Bhutan, you will need to pay the SDF. Visas can be applied for at the Department of Tourism’s website.
Are the SDF incentives for long stays still valid?
No, the incentives introduced in June 2023 have been revoked and are no longer applicable. However, the 24-hour SDF waiver for border towns in Bhutan remains valid.
FAQ related to visa
Your visa will be taken care by Bhutan Gateway Travel. You are requested to email us a clear valid passport with validity of six months or more prior to your visit to Bhutan.
Once approved, Bhutan Gateway Travel will email you the electronic visa (e-visa) approved by the Department of Immigration. You will print and hand carry a copy of the approved e-visa.
In case of emergency, based on the merit of the case, we will pursue with the relevant authority and get it extended. However, under normal circumstances, it is not possible to get the visa extended.
Three to five government working days.