Cabinet Set To Announce Foreign Tourist Fee Decision
Published: September 28, 2022 at 8:32 pm
The Thai cabinet will review the controversial 300 baht tourist fee this week. They will decide to implement it immediately or delay it to a later date. Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, Tourism and Sports Minister said that if the cabinet decides to postpone, the tourist fee for foreign arrivals will still be implemented soon and can’t be scrapped.
The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is nearing the completion of its study into the consequences of the tourist fee. This week should mark the completion of the last phase, which focuses on collecting the fee for land entry into Thailand.
Yesterday, the Ministry signed an agreement with Krungsri Bank to manage the financial aspects of the tourist fee. They will be in charge of establishing and maintaining kiosks, creating a mobile app, and a website payment gateway, they will collect the tourism fee which will be added to airline ticket costs.
Tourism experts and related businesses have challenged the fee since the industry is starting to gain momentum to profitability after suffering the effects of COVID-19 for 2 years. As the business battles economic difficulties, limited and costly flights, and other impediments, the government is imposing another move to discourage tourists from coming to the country.
However, supporters of the tourist fee agree that the 300 baht is needed to fund emergency situations involving tourists. However, experts said that the fee is unnecessary since many travelers have travel insurance.
Tour groups that are required to have insurance can be exempted from the tourism fee. Border pass holders who often enter and exit Thailand for various reasons are not required to pay the fee if they make a day trip or pay a reduced rate if they stay overnight.
The proceeds of the tourist fee will compensate for more canceled medical costs. If tourism returns to its pre-pandemic levels, the fee can produce around 12 billion Thai Baht annually. Almost 90% of the sum will be allocated to programs such as bringing Thailand up to speed with universally accessible designs for public facilities. This and other investments will bring the tourism industry up to par with other famous tourist sites across the globe.
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