After a u-turn on its COVID-19 entry requirements earlier this month, Thailand is now working on a new entrance rule. The government intends to charge international visitors THB300 (RM39.25) upon arrival in to the kingdom.
Why is there a tourist fee and who needs to pay it?
The funds from this levy will be used to assist tourists who get into accidents and to further promote and improve tourism hotspots. Locals and residents won’t be subjected to the fee.
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand’s Minister of Tourism, has said that the new fee, which is still subject to approval by the cabinet, will be implemented in June 2023. He added that foreigners with work permits and border passes “won’t be charged fees.” This exempts several categories, focusing on international tourist arrivals.
How will we pay for it?
The ministry has not yet specified how they would be collecting this cost, including whether they will do it through our hotel reservations, airline, bus, train tickets, or by some other method.
Recovery in Thailand’s tourism
Tourist numbers have been on the rise in recent months, and are only anticipated to rise further now that China has reopened to tourists. According to Ratchakitprakarn, Thailand will see 25 million tourists this year, bringing the industry back to 60% of its pre-pandemic level.
Malaysia (1.95 million), India (965,994), Laos (844,959), Cambodia (591,657), and Singapore (589,770) were the top five countries for foreign visitors last year.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the country received 11.81 million international visitors in 2017, contributing to a total of THB1.5 trillion in revenue from both domestic and international visitors.