New entry gates in the south are open

Bhutan has inaugurated separate gates in Phuentsholing and Gelephu as part of the preparation to welcome foreign tourists through the southern border as well. A new terminal was built at the Phuentsholing entry point. 

“We are just streamlining and professionalising rules that have been in place. Although it may be inconvenient for some right now, it will benefit the nation, the people in the town, and help us in the future,” Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said while inaugurating the entry gate. 

Bhutan will start welcoming foreign tourists from September 23. The tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID pandemic over the last two years. 

The new date to welcome foreigners is unlikely to attract many. The government has raised the daily fee from $200 to $400. The government says its Sustainable Development Fee – is under the plan of low volume high-quality formula. Day visitors to Bhutan do not require to pay these fees. 

The entry gates will also monitor the movement of the Bhutanese citizens as well as they are required to produce their IDs while entering and exiting the gate. Indian citizens are allowed only to a certain area close to the gates. All those passing through the terminal must fulfill immigration formalities. 

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