What is the Tipping structure in practice in Bhutan? Is it same for trek and tour?
Tipping is optional than mandatory. However, it is expected in our trade and has become a kind of tradition. Tipping is more of goodwill gesture or token of appreciation shown for the services rendered to guide and driver.
The nature of trip in Bhutan involves driver and guide with you throughout the trip. In some cases we have seen guests tipping generously in exchange of good services rendered. However, the standard practice is 8 to 10 USD per day for guide and driver for single group of family, friends or for a single traveler. And it is based on assumption of ratio 70:30 to Guide: Driver.
After having said that it is subjected to length of stay also, for instance if it’s a 15 days tour, the corresponding amount at the end could be a bit high when added each day. In such case, we advise our guests to exercise discretion based on the standard of services they received. In the same vein, for the shorter duration tour say 4 nights we again advise to adopt the principle of exercising your good judgment based on above mentioned factors. Ultimately, when summed up at the end, it would be safe to say to have baseline of 90 to 100 USD for longer tour and approx. 60 to 70 for shorter one and anything further up in addition as I said is up to you and believe me! Our guide and driver won’t be unhappy about it.
As for our group journey, perhaps it’s only natural to be higher than private trip in term of Tipping as it entails more number of members. Depending on the strength of members, you should pool together on daily basis among you or as per you suitability with the base amount of says USD 110 to 120 at the end. And less, again if the group size is small.
For the trek, the trend has been that the guests gather among themselves a slightly higher amount than cultural tour and at the end certain portion are distributed among the trek supporting staffs also. It again comes down to exercising your discretion for the concrete sum of amount.
As said tipping is optional, if any particular circumstance arises where you feel tipping is not necessary, then don’t tip.
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