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Japan Implements Visitor Tax Impacting Popular Attraction

A popular tourist attraction in Japan just got more expensive to visit. Travelers hoping to see Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, now have to pay a tax to visit the island of Miyajima, where the shrine is located.

The tax, which took effect Sunday, was implemented in response to “administrative demands (financial demands) that are generated and amplified by the large number of tourists visiting Miyajima,” according to the city of Hatsukaichi’s website.

The city said it aims to “create a sustainable tourist area that is ‘good to live in and good to visit.’ ” The funds will be used to maintain restrooms and tourism information desks, preserve historic architecture and cultural assets and other initiatives.

Each visitor can pay 100 yen ($0.67) every time they enter Miyajima, or get a full year of access for 500 yen ($3.35). Preschoolers, students visiting for school excursions and some other arrivals are exempt from the charge, however.

The new fee comes as other destinations have made similar moves. Iceland said it will implement a tourist tax in 2024 aimed at protecting its environment, and Venice plans to roll out a fee for day trippers to the Italian city to help manage high visitor numbers.

Source : USA Today