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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Tourist tax in Thailand and other countries

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A comparison of the tourist fee around the world with the new Thai tax of 300 baht for boarding a plane to Thailand

From April 1, Thailand will start charging each tourist a 300 baht fee for boarding a plane and the money raised will be used to develop tourism, including equipping tourist attractions for people with disabilities.

It also plans to use the tourist fee to provide health insurance for tourists in the amount of 500,000 baht or one million baht in case of death.

The government’s plans drew widespread criticism among Thais and foreigners when the new tourism levy was revealed last month by Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.

Defending himself from criticism, the minister claimed that other countries such as Japan, Malaysia and European nations also charge for boarding, but the fee is mostly included in airfares or accommodation charges.

A study by the Thai business publication Economic Base found that as many as 40 countries in the world charge boarding fees, although the names, forms and purposes of these charges vary.

Japan

Japan began levying a “sayonara” tax in January 2019, charging 1,000 yen or $9.25 (290 baht) per visitor. The fee is included on air or sea tickets booked by any foreign visitors, regardless of their nationality.

Bhutan

In Bhutan, the tourist fee is $250 (8,300 baht) per person per day in high season (March-May and September-November) and $200 (6,640 baht) per person per day the rest of the year. This is by far the most expensive landing fee in the world.

Southeast Asia

Malaysia imposes a tourist tax of $2.45 (80 baht) per night. New Zealand levies a one-off fee of the same name, charging $23.94 (800 baht) per foreign guest.

The Indonesian resort island of Bali charges tourists a “departure and local development tax” of $10 (300 baht).

Europe

In France, the “stay tax” averages $5.71 (200 baht) per day. The fee varies from city to city.

Germany charges a “culture tax” and a “lodging tax,” which averages $5.71 (200 baht) per person per day, or 5 per cent of hotel rates.

In Spain there is a ‘tourist tax’ of $2.85 (100 baht) per day, but not for more than 7 days in total.

Switzerland’s tourist tax is $2.85 (100 baht) per person per day, with fees varying depending on the type of accommodation.

Greece charges a “stay tax” of $4.57 (150 baht) per person per day.

United States

The United States charges a “stay tax” of about 16.25 per cent of the hotel room rate, but the amount may vary from state to state.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports estimates that Thailand could welcome up to 5 million foreign tourists in 2022, the new tax would boost revenue by 1.5 billion baht.

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