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Bhutan. Tourist tax down by half. The country wants to attract visitors

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Bhutanese authorities will halve the daily fee charged to each tourist. Currently, it is $200, which visitors must pay for each overnight stay in the country. The aim of the changes is to attract new tourists and the revival of this sector of the economy after the pandemic.

As part of its sustainable development strategy, Bhutan charges every tourist for every day spent in its territory. From September last year, it amounted to USD 200 per day (over PLN 820), when it was raised from the previous USD 65. Now the Bhutanese authorities want to cut the tourist tax in half. From September 1, 2023, it will amount to USD 100 (approx. PLN 410) and is to remain at this level for the next four years, until August 31, 2027, the government said in a statement issued on Friday.

SEE ALSO: The Himalayan kingdom opens up to tourists and introduces the highest tax in the world

Accommodation fees in Bhutan

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The functioning of the tourist tax is related to Bhutanese concerns about the impact of mass tourism on the country’s natural resources, its cultural treasures and the population living in a traditional way, in accordance with Buddhist beliefs. For generations, the country was largely cut off from the rest of the world, and only opened to tourism in 1974. However, the high amount of the tourist tax was supposed to limit the number of visitors. Last year’s increase in the fee was associated by the country’s authorities with the need to offset the carbon dioxide emissions generated by visitors.

Now Bhutan wants the tourism industry to recover from the pandemic, and plans to increase its share of the national economy to 20 percent by 2020. of the current five percent A significant reduction in the tourist tax is to help with this. According to the director general of the Department of Tourism Dorji Dhradhul, this will help boost tourism in the period between September and December, when many religious and cultural events take place in the country.

In a country of less than 800,000 inhabitants, about 50,000 people are employed in the tourism sector. citizens. Before the pandemic, in 2019, the country was visited by over 315,000. tourists.

SEE ALSO: Popular with tourists, the country has banned solitary hikes. You must have a guide or go in a group

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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