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Implementation of 300-baht ‘tourism tax’ postponed till June

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Thailand will go ahead with the controversial 300-baht “tourism tax” for international tourists, but implementation will be delayed until June, Tourism and Sports Minister Phipat Ratchakitprakarn said on Monday.

The National Tourism Policy Committee resolved last week to go ahead with the plan despite calls from the tourism and hospitality industry to drop the plan. Thailand’s tourism operators, who are struggling in the fallout of the Covid-19 crisis, are worried this 300-baht (US$9) fee will drive tourists away.

The fee was initially scheduled to kick in from April 1.

Phipat said his ministry was working out details of the plan with relevant government agencies after which the matter will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval. Once given the go-ahead, the regulation will be published in the Royal Gazette and go into effect 90 days later.

He said the entry fee is in line with the 2019 national tourism policy and will initially only be applied to people arriving by air.

The ministry has yet to come up with ways of applying the fee to tourists arriving by land and water.

The minister explained that of the 300 baht collected, 20 per cent will be spent on insurance, which will provide a 500,000-baht coverage in case of an accident and 1-million baht in case of death. The compensation will be provided within 45 days.

The remainder of the fee will be split between airlines and the national tourism policy fund, which will spend the funds on infrastructure for top tourist destinations and basic facilities like public toilets.

 

Published : February 14, 2022

By : THE NATION