Thailand to impose foreign tourist fee from April

Thailand to impose foreign tourist fee from April

BANGKOK: Thailand is likely to begin collecting a 300 baht ($9) entry fee from foreign holidaymakers as the tourism-reliant nation predicts a recovery for the pandemic-hobbled travel industry once the current Covid wave eases.

Thailand, one of Asia’s most popular travel destinations has been badly hit by a pandemic-induced tourism slump, with about 200,000 arrivals last year, compared to nearly 40 million in 2019.

The fee will help fund the development of local tourist attractions and an insurance program for visitors, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, said in a statement Wednesday. The levy will be added to air ticket prices from April, while the method of collections from entry by land has yet to be determined, he said.

The plan for entry fee comes as the Southeast Asian nation attempts to chart the course for its tourism sector after the pandemic. Thailand waived its strict quarantine measures in November in place of a “Test & Go” scheme for vaccinated visitors but suspended that late last month over concerns about the spread of the omicron variant.

Thailand expects between 5 and 15 million foreign arrivals this year, depending on policies in place in its main tourism markets, Thanakorn said.

Foreign tourists are expected to generate 800 billion Thai baht ($23.97 billion) this year, he said.

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