Thailand tourism fee for foreigners
The National Tourism Policy Committee greenlit a ฿300 (~USD10) “tourism fee” for international visitors entering Thailand. In the works since 2020, the Committee hoped to use revenue from this initiative to support local tourist destinations and provide insurance coverage for incoming tourists. The committee expected to collect a total of ฿3 Billion (~USD10Million) this year.
Insurances and other benefits
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sport
Image credit: Bangkok Post
The Minister of Tourism and Sport, Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, explained the urgency of the tourism fee – According to Bangkok Biz News, the number of international tourists visiting Thailand in 2020 decreased by 33.21 million people (83.22%) from 2019. This steep decline of global tourism has affected local businesses in Thailand. Proceeds from tourism fee can be used to assist as business development, product marketing and maintenance funds.
The minister also stated that the tourism fee’s accident insurance coverage is included to increase tourists’ confidence when travelling in Thailand. Further details will be provided after proper discussion with the Ministry of Finance and the Office of Insurance Commission.
This tourist fee collection mirrors Japan’s Sayonara Tax, or the International Tourist Tax, which does the same thing in Japan.
Fee collection was planned long before Covid-19
According to the Bangkok Post, the tourism fee collection was initially due to begin early in 2020. However, the government put this campaign on hold due to Covid-19. Nevertheless, the committee reasserted the situation and greenlit the campaign this year.
“We should proceed with all the details and regulations while there aren’t many international visitors,” said Mr. Ratchakitprakarn. “It should be ready before the return of international travellers.”
The starting date of this tourism fee collection is yet to be determined. In the meantime, be sure to put an extra USD10 bill in your pocket before your next trip to Thailand.
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Featured image adapted from: Bangkok Post