Taxing Tourists in Forest Areas/Trekking Routes

Hi All,

Does anyone have any examples of successes and failures of governments or NGOs’ implementation of some form of tax from tourists, especially on trekking routes, and how that money can be used for covering a range of operational costs over multiple Gram Panchayats?

We are planning to test something like this in the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand and would like our teams to speak with anyone who has already tried this.


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The Sandakphu trek (West Bengal) trail passes through the Singalila National Park. There is a permit fee levied by the forest department, but I don’t know how the allocation of proceeds works. The West Bengal Forest Department’s website lists this agenda item for eco-tourism activities -

The objective is to make the tourists more knowledgable about nature preservation when they go back, and developing each visitor as a propagator of tourism will boost up economic development in the fringe villages of the Protected Areas.

I have been on the Sandakphu trek, and the villages on the trail seemed to be doing better than the average village just from the services (food, housing) they were able to offer to the tourists. A direct allocation from the tax collected to the village panchayats might not be required. Even if the tax collected from the government body is only used for basic administrative functions and promoting eco-tourism, the villages would still see more economic prosperity.

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