To promote the sustainability and safety of the tourism industry, which has been severely affected by COVID-19, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and subsequent Tourism Minister Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn ordered the start of new tourism on Wednesday business activities.
From April 1, 2022, the campaign will reintroduce the tax on foreigners arriving in Thailand. This entry fee will set the country at 300 baht (about $9) per person entering the country. The tourism minister explained that the cost will be included in the ticket price and will be used to develop tourist attractions as well as travel insurance.
Government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the tourism industry is expected to earn between 1.3 and 1.8 trillion baht ($39-54 billion) this year, with 800 billion baht coming from foreign tourists.
Furthermore, he claimed that if the pattern of 2022 is the same as last year, European and American tourists will be the main contributors, followed by Indian tourists, which will bring the number of foreign tourists closer to 7 million.
” The amount collected from tourists 300 baht per person will be taken from 50 baht to buy insurance for tourists. In the first year, there could be money left in this fund of 1,250 million baht, which will be used to develop tourist attractions. Especially the construction of ramps for the disabled in various tourist attractions and the construction of tourist toilets to resemble the Japanese toilets which are very clean and good. which must allow the local people to participate in the investment here for continuous management and care. “
Thailand’s economy is expected to recover gradually over the next two years, recovering to 3.9 percent in 2022 and further strengthening to 4.3 percent in 2023, according to the World Bank’s Global Economic Outlook report released on Wednesday, January 12. in travel and tourism.
However, the implementation of entrance fees is causing various reactions. Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association, expressed her view, explaining that “if the country wants to welcome tourists back, the tourism fee must be postponed until at least 2023, as the industry has to be rebuilt from scratch. Because of the Omicron variant”. Psychologically, such charges could impact foreign tourists, she noted.
Nonetheless, Mr. Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn explained that the fee will not affect tourism sentiment as the government has publicly discussed the policy since last year, and many countries have imposed such taxes. In addition, he said, foreign workers who have to cross the border daily will not be subject to this policy.