If you’re thinking about visiting Thailand soon, you’ll need to fork out a little extra money just to get in. Travellers entering Thailand from June of this year will have to set aside up to an extra THB300 (approximately RM38) for the country’s new entry fee. Thankfully, this isn’t a large amount, and will be put to good use.
The government plans to utilise a portion of the revenue from the new entry fee to fund health and accident insurance for foreigners visiting the country, as well as fund the expansion of tourist attractions all across the country.
The nitty gritty
Foreign tourists arriving by plane will be charged THB300, while those coming by land or water would be charged only THB150 (approximately RM19). According to Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, fees are reduced by 50% for visitors arriving by land or water because they often remain for shorter durations. He also confirmed that the new charge will begin this June 2023.
Most importantly, this fee will be automatically added to the cost of airline tickets. It hasn’t been determined how the entry fee by land/sea will be collected.
However, persons with diplomatic passports, work permits, special work permits for certain professions as outlined by the Labour Ministry, children under the age of two, and transit passengers are exempt from paying the levy.
Thailand’s new tourism focus
In the wake of China’s reopening and the lifting of the COVID-19 travel ban, Thailand has experienced a dramatic increase in visitor numbers. Almost 30 million foreign tourists are anticipated to visit the nation this year alone, according to a spokesman for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. In 2022, only 11.2 million people visited the kingdom, compared to a record-breaking 40 million people in 2019.
Before the pandemic, Thailand frequently ranked among the top tourist destinations in the world.