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Taj Mahal to limit visits to three hours

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The famous Indian monument has made yet another move to reduce overtourism

One of the most iconic sites in India, the Taj Mahal, has decided to implement another set of measures against increasing numbers of tourists.

With more than 50,000 visitors arriving at the Taj Mahal each day, local government wants to ” reduce congestion inside the monument, stop tourists overstaying and manage crowds inside and at the gates”.

Authorities have implemented another measurement against overtourism at Taj Mahal — Damian Pankowiec / Shutterstock hoursAuthorities have implemented another measurement against overtourism at the Taj Mahal — Damian Pankowiec / Shutterstock

All tickets, including those sold online, will be limited to a maximum stay of three hours with the time specified on them.

Ticket holders, both domestic and foreign, will be checked manually at the exit gate. If the controllers realise the tourist stayed in the premises for more than three hours, they will force them to buy a new ticket.

Children under the age of 15, who have free entry to the site, will receive an unpriced ticket to ensure precise head-counting.

The Taj Mahal‘s superintendent archaeologist, Bhuvan Vikram, said that “the new procedures will also help maintain a proper number and disperse crowds”.

“We decided three hours was enough time for tourists to see the Taj, even at a leisurely pace. We will monitor it for months in both high and low seasons and then make a call on whether we need to improve the process,” he told Sky News.

“We are hoping these restrictions will be substantive enough. It may also give more people a chance to visit the iconic monument. If our first step works, then we may not have to cap the number of daily entries.”

Limiting the time of stay is the second measure the authorities have proposed. In January they suggested capping the numbers of domestic visitors to 40,000 per day.  

The Taj Mahal is not the only popular location that struggles with increasing numbers of tourists. The situation is critical in Venice, where locals are being moved out of the historical centre, or in Amsterdam, where the city has implemented special taxation on visitors.

Natural resorts, such as Maya Bay in Thailand, or Boracay island in the Philippines, are to be temporarily closed to tourists completely.

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