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Thailand’s New Tourist Tax To Be Implemented Starting June 1

Published: February 15, 2023 at 4:24 pm

tourists walking on the beach

In a bid to promote sustainability and offset emergency expenses, officials have given the green light to impose new fees on foreign visitors starting June 1.

As travel demand starts to increase, the government has decided to charge foreign tourists entering the country by air a fee of THB 300 baht, while those arriving by land or boat will be required to pay THB 150 baht.

Day travelers, transit passengers, or children under 2 years old are exempted from the tourist tax

The entry fee will help build an emergency fund that will serve as accident insurance for tourists who may require medical attention during their stay.

According to Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the tourism and sports minister, the 3.9 billion baht expected to be collected this year will be used to cover expenses of 300 million to 400 million baht worth of services provided to foreign tourists at government hospitals from 2017 to 2019.

The proceeds will also be used to repatriate the remains of foreign travelers who have passed away in Thailand.

It is important to note that the tax will not affect foreigners with Thai work permits or those traveling with diplomatic and official passports.

The tourist tax is separate from the departure tax, which has been included in airfares for decades.

The exit fee varies based on the airport, with Bangkok’s main Suvarnabhumi Airport charging the most at 700 baht.

The Thai government aims to welcome 25 million tourists this year, which is just over half the 2019 total, but more than twice the 11 million arrivals seen in 2022.

The tourist tax has received mixed reactions from the country’s tourism industry, which, at its pre-pandemic height, contributed a fifth of the gross domestic product.

Some operators fear that the additional cost will discourage some tourists from choosing Thailand as a travel destination.

But others see it as an opportunity to fund sustainable growth in the tourism sector while reducing the burden of tourist emergencies on public coffers.

Thailand had previously required medical insurance worth at least $10,000 among other COVID-era entry requirements.

But the government’s focus has now shifted from increasing traveler volume to attracting long-stay and high-spending tourists.

This move is expected to increase tourism revenue and promote sustainability in the industry.

SOURCE: Nikkei Asia 

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