Payment for your trip is usually made in US$ via bank transfer to the Tourism Council of Bhutan’s bank account at the Bhutan National Bank in Bhutan, with your tour operator shown as the ultimate beneficiary of the funds.
We will provide you with all the information needed to make the transfer once your choice of trip is confirmed. We ask for payment 90 days 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.
Payments sent in US$ may be sent directly to the Bhutan National Bank, but in some cases your bank may route the payment through Standard Chartered Bank in New York as an intermediary bank and from there the funds are transferred on to the Bhutan National Bank. Although we have to quote for our tours in US$, if you are sending funds from the UK or Europe it is possible to send the payment in sterling (via Standard Chartered Bank in London) or in Euros (via Standard Chartered Bank in Frankfurt) and we will give you the necessary details to make payment via these routings.
Once we receive notification from the bank that your payment has arrived we will send you a formal trip confirmation and receipt.
It is not uncommon for there to be a small shortfall on receipt of the funds. The reason for this may be that intermediary banks deduct charges en route, or (where payment is not sent in US$) 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.
Online payment option
As from December 2016 we can offer the option to make payment for your trip by credit or debit card to the Bank of Bhutan in Thimphu, Bhutan via an online payment gateway. Please let us know if you wish to use this facility and we can provide details. Please note that in place of the US$30 administration fee applicable if you send funds to Bhutan by bank transfer, there is a 5% service fee charged to cover the costs of arranging access to this service.
Whether you make payment by bank transfer or via the online payment gateway, your funds will be held in the government account and will not be released to Blue Poppy 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 Blue Poppy 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.
Please note that if you decide to book with Blue Poppy you will be booking with us as 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. Our office in London acts purely as facilitator in corresponding with you regarding your booking on behalf of Blue Poppy in Bhutan.