Thailand to introduce tourist tax from April
Thailand plans to charge every tourist a fee of 300 baht (£ 6.60) from April, senior officials said on Wednesday.
The proposed tax, which is part of the government’s sustainable tourism plans, would be used to develop attractions and cover health insurance for foreigners unable to afford the fee.
“Part of the fee will be used to take care of tourists,” Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said. Reuters.
“We have encountered times when insurance did not have coverage for tourists … which became our burden to take care of them.”
He also said the money will be used to preserve and improve tourist sites.
Thailand currently has strict travel rules in place for tourists due to the pandemic, including requiring them to apply for certain tourist programs and passes, quarantine in hotels in specific locations such as Bangkok and Phuket, and proof of Covid health insurance coverage valued at at least $ 50,000.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the new fees would be billed with the plane tickets.
He predicted that tourism could boost the economy by 800 billion Thai baht ($ 23.97 billion) this year.
Thailand recently suspended its Test and Go program, which allowed tourists to bypass quarantine with PCR tests at the start of their trip.
However, several ‘sandbox’ programs remain, with visitors meeting vaccination and testing criteria being able to quarantine themselves at select hotels for seven days before further exploring the country.
Thailand extended Sandbox programs to three more locations on Tuesday: Krabi, Phang-Nga and Surat Thani.
Tourist taxes are nothing new, with Bhutan actively combating mass tourism with a tax of $ 250 per day per person, while Croatia charges 10 Kuna (£ 1.20) per person per night, with tourist species distributed among cities, counties, the Croatian National Tourist Council (HTZ) and the Red Cross.
Meanwhile, Venice – which has suffered from overtourism in recent years – plans to charge visitors between € 3 and € 10 per visit, depending on whether they arrive in high or low season.