Tourist tax contemplated when Thailand reopens

Tourist tax contemplated when Thailand reopens
Photo: The Straits Times

The Thai Government’s Tourism and Sports Ministry is considering introducing a tourist tax that would be charged to all people who arrive in the country once the ban on incoming flights is lifted at the end of May.

The proposal suggests that a tax of approximately 300 baht per person is collected from foreigners on all inbound flights, in addition to arrivals by land and sea.

The tax would then be placed into a fund that is managed by the Tourism Ministry with the aim of rebuilding and developing the tourism industry across Thailand in addition to offering better security and safety for visitors.

It is part of a 20-year plan that requires all government ministries and agencies to have a source of recurring income to assist with sustaining, stabilizing, and developing the economy.

For tourists entering Thailand by air, the tax will be collected as part of the airfare. Currently, the ministry has not finalized how they plan to collect the levy from entrants via land and sea.

The Tourism and Sports Minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said that the tourism tax is necessary to continue offering protection and services to visitors who come to Thailand. He said:

“The pandemic has had a severe impact on tourism confidence, and the tourism fund should set aside a budget for state agencies to carry on when looking after tourists affected by the pandemic.”

A feasibility study is currently being conducted at Naresuan University to find a reasonable figure for the tourism tax that will meet all requirements. It is currently estimated that the figure will stand at around 300 baht per person.

Once the study is completed, the ministry will submit a proposal to the cabinet for approval with the aim of announcing the new tax before the fourth quarter of this year.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) targets 16 million tourist arrivals this year, but Mr. Phiphat warned the figure is too optimistic and that tourism will not pick up again before the fourth quarter of this year.

Source: Bangkok Post

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