World’s most expensive tourist tax charges travellers £167 per day

William and Kate visit Tigers Nest ancient monastery in Bhutan

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Many popular tourist destinations are seeking to regulate the number of visitors following the pandemic. Cities in Italy and Spain are both considering new tourist taxes while Wales is also tempted.

However, one country’s whopping tourist tax costs far more than any other around the world.

The tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan is planning to introduce a tourist tax charging visitors $200 (£167) per day.

When Bhutan reopens its borders to foreigners on September 23, tourists will have to pay a “sustainable development fee”.

The move is intended to encourage “high value” tourism and limit the impact of tourism on Bhutan’s traditional culture.

Bhutan didn’t open to tourists until 1974 and its residents didn’t have access to televisions until 1999.

Tandi Dorji, Bhutan’s foreign minister and chair of the Tourism Council of Bhutan: “Covid has allowed us to reset, to rethink how the sector can be best structured and operated, so that it not only benefits Bhutan economically, but socially as well, while keeping carbon footprints low.

“In the long run, our goal is to create high-value experiences for visitors, and well-paying and professional jobs for our citizens.”

Bhutan’s Government said the fee would be used to offset carbon emissions and make investments in environmental initiatives.

However, not everyone is happy about the high fee and some tourism companies fear it could jeopardise recovery in the industry.

World Expeditions told the Financial Times that it would push the price of its trips up to £9,000 from £5,890.

Gordon Steer, the company’s UK manager, said he was worried about the impact it could have on colleagues in Bhutan.

Bhutan has always been an expensive destination to visit and tourists used to have to pay a minimum price of $200-$290 (£167-£243) to visit.

However, that price usually included accommodation and other package tour activities within Bhutan.

Tourists from India, Bangladesh and the Maldives will pay a much lower rate to visit Bhutan than other visitors.

Lucky visitors who do get to travel to Bhutan will be able to explore its incredible mountainous landscapes.

The country is also home to many monasteries, some of which cling to the mountainside and offer incredible views.

Tourist taxes are often introduced to help cover the cost of hosting visitors and boost the local economy.

Venice is set to charge daytrippers to visit the city while Barcelona already has a tourist tax in place.

The Spanish city is planning to introduce an additional tax for cruise passengers in a bid to crackdown on the number of mega cruise ships.

Cruises can be controversial as many locals believe the passengers don’t spend a lot of money in the cities they visit.

Source: Read Full Article