Lake District National Park in the UK is doing something no other tourist destination has done before — it’s exclusively taxing Japanese tourists 5GBP a head for visiting. The park is famous as the place where Beatrix Potter lived and hence where Peter Rabbit takes place, and about 35,000 Japanese tourists go there every year. This is likely the first time that one nationality has been singled out to pay a fee when it’s free for everyone else.
The money is going to be used for conservation projects in the park, which is nice, but it still seems a bit messed up to target one group of tourists over others. The officials who created the tax say it’s optional, but it’s an opt-out tax that is only presented to Japanese visitors — local visitors or those from other countries are not presented with the sheet of paper that asks for the “donation.”