Thailand is planning to collect a tax on international tourists coming to the country from April.
The tax would amount to 300 bath per person per stay in Thailand, approximately US$9.
On January 14, the minister of Tourism and Sports clarified that the new tax would only be collected to international tourists and would not affect domestic travelers.
The fee will be applied on the price of airline tickets and the method regarding land travel is under study.
Half of the revenue would be invested in the National Tourism Promotion Fund to promote tourism and develop attractions. The fee will also cover accident insurance for foreigners unable to pay costs themselves.
“We’ve encountered times when insurance didn’t have coverage for tourists … which became our burden to take care of them“, Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters.
The country hopes to collect at least 1.5 billion bath ($45 million) a year with this entry tax from 5 million foreign tourists visiting Thailand in 2022.
The government estimates there would be between 5 and 15 million international tourists this year, depending on the situation regarding the pandemic.
According to government data, approximately 40,000 international tourists visited Thailand during the first semester of 2021. Far from the nearly 40 million in 2019. Officials data are not published on Tourism Ministry’s website after June 2021.
Thailand waived strict quarantines measures in November but suspended it late last month over concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant.