Football: Watching China take on Bhutan on June 16 in the second round of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers will be one of the most expensive games for Chinese supporters.

Football fans, who want to come to Bhutan to cheer their team, will have to come as tourists and through travel agents, paying the daily tariff of USD 200 (off season) and USD 250 during peak season.  Although not finalised, the Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) is thinking to charge USD 50 to 100 a ticket for visiting fans.

Meanwhile, around 14 local tour operators have approached BFF to reserve the 20 percent quota for visiting fans.  According to BFF officials, about 2,000 Chinese supporters are expected to be around during match time.

The sales and marketing manager with Happiness Kingdom Travels, Choki, said that they are looking for 100 to 200 tickets for their Chinese guests. “We originally proposed for 500 tickets but, because of the Nepal accident, we’ve reduced the numbers,” he said.

Choki said that the final number of tickets would be decided only after BFF confirmed the prices of the tickets.  Once they get the tickets, Choki said that the agency was planning to sell some of the tickets in China. “Interested Chinese individuals can buy the tickets and come through other agencies as well,” he said.

Similarly, other local tour operators, like Norbu Bhutan Travel private limited and Amulet Luxury Travel Bhutan, are also working on getting the limited tickets.

An official from Amulet Luxury Travel Bhutan said that they were more focused on the Hong Kong game on October 13.

BFF’s media-spokesperson, Phuntsho Wangdi, said that the price of the tickets for the local supporters would be Nu 300.

Phuntsho Wangdi said that BFF is working on selling the TV-rights to World Sports Group, a sports marketing, event management and media company in Asia.

By Younten Tshedup