According to KuenselOnline, the online version of Bhutan's daily national newspaper , the government is set to waive off the daily royalty of US$ 65 per day for the visit to eastern districts.It was announced by the education minister, Norbu Wangchuk, amidst the ruling party's national convention on 12 Nov 2017. The proposal will be officially tabled in the upcoming session of the parliament that begins on 14th Nov 2017.
Currently, all travelers to Bhutan are paying US$ 65 as a sustainable development fee which is built in the daily minimum tariff of US$ 250 per person per day during the high season and US$ 200 during the lean season. The tariff includes three star standard hotels, meals, guide and transport. After the waiver of the fee, the daily minimum tariff for eastern Bhutan will be US$ 135 during the off-season and US$ 185 per person per day during the high-season. Small group surcharges of US$ 40 per day for solo traveler and US$ 30 per person per day for two-persons group will be still in place.
The waiver of the royalty for travel in eastern Bhutan is believed to help promote tourism in the remote areas. Currently, most Bhutan travelers are visiting western Bhutan and central Bhutan, only two percent of the total tourist arrivals, visit the six districts of eastern Bhutan and the government has set the goal that 20 percent of tourists visit eastern dzongkhags to promote uniform distribution of economic benefits from the sector.
The minister informed that the construction of an airport in Yonphula in Trashigang has been completed and the widening of east-west highway is now nearing completion.Tour operators and the locals have highly welcomed the government's decision to make the eastern Bhutan tour affordable that will help uniform distribution of the tourists in the country and so the benefits from the sector.