Thailand is going ahead with the controversial 300 baht tourist tax for international tourists, but implementation will be delayed until June, Tourism and Sports Minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn said.
The National Tourism Policy Committee decided last week to go ahead with the plan, despite calls from the tourism and hospitality industry to forget about the plan. Thailand’s tourist boards, struggling with the effects of the Covid19 crisis, fear this 300 baht (US$9) fee will scare tourists away.
Initially, the compensation would take effect from 1 April.
Phipat said his ministry was working out the details of the plan with relevant government agencies, after which the matter will be submitted to the cabinet for approval. Once the green light is given, the regulation will be published in the Royal Gazette and come into effect 90 days later.
He said this tax is in line with the 2019 national tourism policy and will initially only be applied to people arriving by air.
The ministry has yet to figure out ways to apply the fee to tourists who come by land and water.
The minister explained that of the 300 baht raised, 20 per cent will be spent on insurance, which will cover 500,000 baht in the event of an accident and 1 million baht in the event of death. The tax money would be distributed within 45 days.
The rest of the compensation will be split between airlines and the National Tourism Policy Fund, which will spend the money on infrastructure for top tourist destinations and basic amenities such as public toilets.
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