Bhutan Announces To Levy ‘Visa Fee’ On Indian Tourists
Bhutan – A nation that does not measure prosperity and development by calculating GDP but by GNH – Gross National Happiness, is something that makes it different. The last Himalayan Kingdom with mesmerizing beauty spread across every corner of the country attracts huge number of travelers every year. Bhutan is among those travel destinations that are still unexploited and comparatively not industrialized like other travel destinations. In 2018, 200,000 travelers visited Bhutan which is approximately 10% higher than in 2017. The number is increasing every year, sparking the fear among Bhutanese people that it will become just another mass tourism destination.
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In order to keep their unique Himalayan Kingdom’s ecology unexploited, Bhutan’s lower house of parliament passed legislation on Monday, citing that visitors from India have to pay a fee of 1200 ngultrums (USD 16.85) per day from July. Bhutan is introducing a Visa fee (Sustainable Development Fee) for tourists from neighboring countries, so they can maintain their cherished ecology.
Every Indian traveller has to pay a daily Visa Fee for Bhutan of INR 1200, and for children between the age of 6 to 12 years, a fee of INR 600 needs to be paid from July 2020. Bhutan Visa Fees for Indian passport holders is comparatively less as compared to tourists from other countries, whp have to pay a compulsory Bhutan visa fee of USD 250 (INR 17,860) per day. This fee covers their entire travel, accommodation and travel. The National Assembly of Bhutan introduced this new visa bill as the Tourism Levy and Exemption Bill of Bhutan, 2020.
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Bhutan has become one of the favorite tourist destinations fo Indians, especially after Indian cricket superstar, Virat Kohli with his wife, Anushka Sharma visited and publicized the country as well. It is pretty clear that Bhutan is a country that you have to visit at least once in your lifetime. Plan before it is too late, as from July onwards you have to spend little more on your trip package as this new Visa fees for Bhutan (sustainable development fee) will add a little burden. It is also important to keep in mind that while visiting places like Bhutan you have to respect the sentiments of people and local culture so that these places never lose its charm and serenity.