History & Culture

Tour operators criticise monuments entry fee hike

IATO said the many-fold increase would “negatively” impact footfalls

DELHI:   Criticising the “steep hike” in the entry charges for the monuments under Archaeological Survey of India, Tour operators body IATO said the many-fold increase would “negatively” impact footfalls.

The government had last year announced hike in the ticket prices for 116 monuments across the country but it came into effect from April 1.

“It is a steep hike. It will discourage the visitors from coming to these monuments,” Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) Honorary Secretary Pronab Sarkar said.

He said the government should have implemented the hike in a phased manner instead of a “sudden increase”.

For the 32 World Heritage Monuments, the ticket price has been increased to Rs 30 from Rs 10 for the domestic visitor, while the entry fee for foreign nationals has been hiked 100 per cent to Rs 500 from Rs 250.

The entry fee for other monuments has been increased three-fold to Rs 15 from Rs five for the domestic visitor, while foreigners will have to pay Rs 200 against Rs 100.

The government had justified hiking the ticket prices, saying it has been made after a period of more than 15 years as the last increase took place in 2000 and the enhanced rates are at par with entry fee of monuments abroad.

“The price should be increased when there are too much footfalls into the monuments. Already, Taj Mahal is witnessing fall in its visitors. The government should not increase the ticket prices until India gets 25-30 million tourists yearly from the current eight million,” he said.

Moreover, Sarkar said, “The move will further make India an expensive destination compared to countries such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand, keeping in mind the facilities the tourists get for the money they spend.”

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