Bhutan Welcomes Travelers Back in September 2022 with a Renewed Focus on Sustainability.
Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan - Gangtey Lodge announced its September 2022 reopening as the mystical Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan welcomes back international travelers. The multi-award winning lodge offers the perfect blend of luxury, nature, culture, and spiritual enlightenment through its regenerative and sustainable practices. Gangtey Lodge boasts 12 beautifully designed suites with sweeping views of the Phobjikha Valley, where luxury and adventure connects guests with the culture and community of Bhutan. Known for its stunning landscapes, ancient Monasteries, spicy food, colorful festivals, and most of all its authenticity, Bhutan is the perfect escape from fast-paced city life. The Land of the Thunder Dragon is a truly life changing experience with exhilarating activities and genuine cultural immersions in a beautiful untamed wilderness.
After an almost three year closure, the country is poised to open with a focus on a sustainability model of high value, low volume tourism. New efforts are aimed to keep the country carbon negative and a green destination for tourists while protecting its people, culture, values, and environment. Starting September 23, 2022, the standard minimum daily spend of $250 per person per day will be replaced by a new daily Sustainable Development Fee of $200, which will go towards activities that promote carbon-neutral tourism and building a more sustainable tourism sector. Beyond protecting the country’s natural environment, the SDF will be directed towards activities that preserve Bhutan’s historic and living cultural heritage, including architecture and traditional values. These include well-managed community-led projects that promote the sharing of authentic experiences and education of Bhutan’s traditions and culture. The SDF will also ensure the development of tourism activities that help local communities thrive economically. All these significant efforts require investment which the SDF will financially support.
“COVID-19 has allowed us to reset – to rethink how the sector can be best structured and operated, so that it not only benefits Bhutan economically, but socially as well, while keeping carbon footprints low. In the long run, our goal is to create high-value experiences for visitors, and well-paying and professional jobs for our citizens,” shares Dr. Tandi Dorji, Foreign Minister of Bhutan and Chairperson of the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
Additionally, the former mandate to book with designated operators has been removed. Starting this fall, travelers can book directly with hotels, while the government will still require an assigned guide. There will be no quarantine after the 23rd of September. Currently, 97% of the eligible Bhutanese community has been vaccinated. Festivals for 2022 will be back on the calendar and will include Gangtey Tshechu from October 7-9 and Black Neck Craned Festival on November 11.
As one of the few independent boutique lodges in Bhutan, Gangtey Lodge remains truly committed to their mission to empower and create opportunities for the local community through training and employment, and respecting the environment.
Khin Omar Win, owner of Gantey Lodge shares, “After two and a half years of closure, we are absolutely thrilled to re-open. Our Gangtey Lodge Family are excited to be back together again and are ready to celebrate the return to travel with our guests. We can not wait to share the new well-being experiences that we have developed, to immerse guests into the nature, culture and traditions of our beautiful valley.”
In 2023, Gangtey Lodge will celebrate its 10-year anniversary, and are eager to share their new guest experiences for travelers including friends, families and honeymooners.