Bhutan may soon levy a fee on visitors from India, Maldives and Bangladesh

Bhutan
Booking.com

Now you may have to pay to enter Bhutan as the government is planning to charge tourists from India, the Maldives and Bangladesh.

The country imposes $250 (Rs17,000) on international tourists, The Fourth Bhutan Pay Commission report has recommended levying a Sustainable Development Fee (SDF) of 500 Ngultrums (Rs500) on what the country calls ‘regional tourists’. They include Indians, Bangladeshis and Maldivians, who did not pay any money earlier. The government also plans to introduce a cap on the number of tourists and foreign vehicles entering the country from now on.

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Bhutan has become a sought after tourist destination in the past three years with reports of the country becoming affected due to this and become noisy and overcrowded. Many tourists have since then complained about the unavailability of hotels rooms which are already occupied by travellers who enter for free. In 2017, 1,70,000 tourists visited Bhutan. This number rose three times to 2,02,290 in 2018, according to the Bhutan Tourism Monitor.

Apart from Bhutan, 42 other countries like Venice, New Zealand and Japan, have taken similar measure to combat the problem of overcrowding.

 

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