Thailand may charge a tourist fee of 500 baht (about 60 PLN) from next year. According to the government’s plans, the fees will be used in the fund designated for the modernization of tourism infrastructure. The authorities are counting on new tax revenue of 5 billion lashes.
The Bangkok Post Yuthasak Supasorn, head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the payment of 500 baht per person should start next year. According to the website, it is 200 baht higher than originally assumed.
Thailand. New tourist tax
Even at the beginning of this year, it was supposed to be 300 baht – the tax was to be allocated to the development of tourism and medical assistance to tourists – but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not implemented. After a few months, the idea of introducing a fee was reconsidered and the amount increased. As the head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand explains, these additional 200 lashes will be used to fund projects aimed at transforming mass tourism into more valuable and eco-friendly tourism. He also hoped that tourists would not mind supporting the Tourism Transformation Fund.
We want to focus on quality. We hope this fund will help transform the tourism sector in our country by creating safer and cleaner places, Juthasek Sopasorn emphasized. In an interview with the Bangkok Post, he also added that the fund’s purpose was not to mitigate the catastrophic effects of the pandemic.
Supasorn hopes to collect 5 billion lashes annually, assuming that 10 million foreign tourists will come to Thailand in 2022. According to Statista, in 2020, 6.8 million tourists visited Thailand, a year ago, before the outbreak of the epidemic, there were 39.8 million tourists.
The 500 baht fee is approved by the Center for Economic Situation Management (CESA). According to the website, the next step for TAT and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports is to appoint an appropriate committee to decide how to charge foreign visitors, and which projects deserve support from the fund.