Payment for your trip is usually made in US$ via bank transfer to the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s bank account at the Bank of Bhutan, with your tour operator shown as the ultimate beneficiary of the funds. Payment for tours for Indian, Bangladeshi and Maldives nationals may be made in local currency to the Punjab National Bank in Bhutan – we will provide details when you are ready to make payment.
We will provide you with all the information needed to make the transfer once your choice of trip is confirmed. We ask for payment 6 weeks in advance of the tour to give us plenty of time to finalise the arrangements for your booking. We don’t require payment of a deposit, but if you are visiting in peak season we may need to issue your flight tickets as much as 6 months or more beforehand (if the flight has filled up) and in that case we will ask you to send payment for the flight tickets only at an earlier stage. Earlier payment will also be required in the case of stays in luxury accommodation.
Payments sent in US$ may be sent directly to the Bank of Bhutan, but in some cases your bank may route the payment through Standard Chartered Bank in New York or Singapore as an intermediary bank and from there the funds are transferred on to the Bank of Bhutan.
Once we receive notification from the bank that your payment has arrived we will send you a formal trip confirmation and receipt.
It is not uncommon for there to be a small shortfall on receipt of the funds. The reason for this may be that intermediary banks deduct charges en route, or (where payment is not sent in US$) because your bank will work out the sterling or other currency equivalent of the dollar amount on sending, but the money is converted on arrival in Bhutan at the prevailing dollar rate, which may be different. We charge a US$30 administration fee when processing your payment which helps us to cover these costs. If there is a shortfall of more than this we will confirm to you the exact amount received (and if requested send you a copy of the receipt from our bank) and will ask you to make up the shortfall in US$ cash on arrival.
On receipt your funds will be held in the government account and will not be released to Purely Bhutan until after your tour has taken place. This provides you with the security of knowing that your money is safe until your holiday takes place. If for any reason the trip doesn’t go ahead then the government will not give your money to Purely Bhutan but will return it to you (subject to any cancellation charges which apply if you have cancelled the trip). So in the unlikely event that we do not run your trip for you, you would not be out of pocket.
Purely Bhutan is a local Bhutanese tour operator, licensed and registered in Bhutan, subject to regulation by the Bhutan Ministry of Economic Affairs and a member of ABTO (the Association of Bhutanese Tour Operators). Any disputes regarding your booking are to be resolved by arbitration under the laws of Bhutan.