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Friday, March 24, 2023

Collection of B500 fee from foreigners starts next year

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Collection of B500 fee from foreigners starts next year

Despite Thailand’s struggles to revive its decimated tourism industry, the government is pushing ahead with a proposed tourist tax — even raising it by 200 baht.  

The National Tourism Policy Committee originally approved a 300 baht allowance early this year to be used to develop tourist destinations and provide insurance benefits to tourists. According to a report from Bangkok Post, the fee has now been increased to 500 baht.

TAT’s Yuthasak Supasorn says the additional 200 baht will be used to fund projects aimed at transforming the country’s mass-market tourism model into one more high-quality, environmentally conscious one. He’s pretty sure tourists won’t mind paying for it.

“The additional cost will not have an impact on tourists as we want to focus on the quality market. We hope this fund will support a national tourism makeover that creates more safe and clean places in the kingdom.”

The Center for Economic Situation Administration, CESA has approved the 500 baht fee, as part of a broader “tourism transformation fund” to support transformation projects with a focus on sustainable, high-quality tourism.

The TAT says the fee will be collected from next year, with officials counting on receiving 5 billion baht within the first year, based on 10 million foreign arrivals.

The Bangkok Post reports that the TAT and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports will hold talks with the relevant authorities to establish a fund committee and agree on funding mechanisms, as well as decide how the fee will be collected from foreign visitors.

The fund committee will determine which projects are eligible for support. Yuthasak adds that the aim of the fund is not to alleviate the economic devastation of the Covid19 pandemic, but to focus on long-term growth.

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