Govt looking at doing away with Route Permits for Tourists

The Cabinet has decided to allow the Tourism Council of Bhutan (TCB) to look into doing away with the Route Permits that require tourists to seek additional route permits to travel to destinations beyond Paro and Thimphu.

The Chairman of the TCB and Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji said that in principal the aim is got only the visa for the whole country.

Lyonpo said, “So as long as restricted areas of the country are identified and you have a visa you can travel anywhere in the country except for those restricted areas.”

The minister said the TCB is supposed to come out with a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) after identifying and verifying the restricted areas with the Bureau of Law and Order in the Home Ministry, Army, Security and Department of Forest.

The aim is to come up with a new and updated list of restricted areas. In the rest if the areas the route permit may not be required.

The Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering said that it is still at the discussion stage and a final decision has not yet been taken.

Lyonchhen said that since Lyonpo Dr Tandi Dorji is also the acting Home Minister he can consult with the Bureau of Law and Order and the Immigration Department as TCB cannot take decision on these issues.

The government is allowing tourists to come in by air as long as they are willing to follow the 21-day quarantine.

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