Bhutan to levy charges on Indian tourists, cabinet likely to pass revised policy next month

According to the update in policy, Bhutan is set to charge tourists from regional countries including India, Bangladesh and Maldives. Tourists from these countries were not previously charged.

The new draft tourism policy is likely to be passed by the Bhutanese Cabinet next month. The policy was discussed by visiting foreign minister Tandi Dorji with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and meetings in Delhi on Monday, sources said.

According to the draft prepared by the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB), the new charges have been formulated keeping in mind the increase in the number of tourists from the region and mainly India.

“The essence of our “High Value, Low Impact” policy (also called the “High value, low volume” policy) is that we will monitor our tourist arrivals depending on our capacity to cater to them,” Director-General of TCB Dorji Dhradhul told The Hindu in a recent interview. He added, “Over the last few years the number of tourists has been increasing at a really rapid rate, growing about 10 times in the past decade, and this policy was under threat.”

The MEA declined to co0mment on the developments. According to sources, India has "some concern that the measures proposed should not cause too many hassles to Indian visitors," and wants a predictable and reasonable policy.

Also Read: HC dismisses plea challenging Fadnavis' election; Rs 2 lakh fine imposed on petitioner