According to Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Minister of Tourism and Sports, the Thai government on Wednesday approved the imposition of entry fees for foreign visitors arriving in the country. According to Phiphat, the fees are set to go into effect in June 2023, and they will apply to all international arrivals except one-day visitors.
Thailand Entry Fee Based on Mode of Transportation
The minister explained that visitors arriving by air will be charged a fee of 300 baht, while those arriving by water and land will be charged a fee of 150 baht. The difference in rates is due to the fact that visitors arriving by sea or land are more likely to stay in the country for a few days.
Exemptions for One-Day Visitors
Visitors who do not stay overnight are exempt from paying the entry fee. The minister went on to say that the government expects to collect about 3.9 billion baht in fees this year.
A portion of this sum will be used to provide tourists with health and accident insurance during their stay in the country.
Support for the Care of Tourists
According to the minister, the entry fee will support care for tourists. He cited figures from 2017 to 2019, which indicated that foreign tourists used services at public hospitals that cost the state as much as 300-400 million baht.
The entry fee, therefore, aims to fund the health and welfare of tourists during their stay in Thailand.
Controversy Surrounding the Entry Fee
It is worth noting here that the entry fee has been criticised by the local tourism industry, especially since the country is currently experiencing a rapid increase in foreign arrivals. Foreign tourist arrivals in Thailand could reach 30 million in 2022, nearly tripling the number recorded the previous year.
The fee was imposed following the repeal of pandemic-era restrictions and China’s decision to end its zero-Covid policy.
The Collection and Use of Fees
The method of collection from land entry has yet to be determined, but the government has stated that the levy will be added to the cost of airline tickets.
Wuthichai Luangamornlert, managing director of Siam Park City, the operator of Bangkok’s Siam Amazing Park, welcomed the move but stressed the importance of strict control over the collection and use of the fees to avoid future problems.
Funding of Local Tourist Attractions
In addition to funding health and welfare for tourists, part of the entry fee will also help fund the development of local tourist attractions. The government has long considered imposing an entry fee for foreign travellers, and the pandemic has delayed its implementation.
The cabinet’s endorsement of the entry fee for international arrivals in Thailand aims to ensure the welfare and health of tourists during their stay in the country. While it has faced criticism from the local tourism industry, the fee will help fund the development of local tourist attractions and provide better health and welfare services for visitors.
The implementation of the entry fee is a significant step for the Thai government in managing the influx of foreign arrivals and ensuring the sustainability of its tourism industry.
What are your thoughts on the implementation of entry fees for international arrivals in Thailand?
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