The National Tourism Policy Committee, under the Tourism and Sports Ministry, approved a proposal of collecting a fee of roughly 10 USD, or about 300 baht, on foreign tourists who enter Thailand as a part of the tourism promotion fund, including tourist accident insurance and funds for affected labor and entrepreneurs in case of a financial crisis.
Minister of Tourism and Sports Piphat Ratchakitprakarn revealed to the press yesterday, January 14th, that the 300-baht money will be collected as a ‘land entry fee’ on individual foreigners and will be used on tourism management and development, including providing insurance for foreign tourists while traveling in Thailand.
This fee collection is similar to Japan’s ‘Sayonara Tax’, also known as an International Tourist Tax, according to his statement. It is to ensure that tourists will be taken care of in case of an accident that occurred during their stay until they safely depart the Kingdom.
“Initially, if we started to collect 300 baht per person on 10 million foreign tourists, according to the estimated number, it would bring the fund up to 300 billion baht this year,” Piphat stated.
Details of the regulations and conditions will be proposed to the Cabinet committee at the next meeting for acknowledgment and approval before being published in the Government Gazette, if agreed. The fee proposal has been in discussion for some time, notes The Pattaya News, but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The insurance is likely to be limited in scope and exact details on what it covers and how will be presented in the future added the Tourism Authority.
It is important to note although approved at the Tourism Authority level this is still a proposal and needs Cabinet approval. There are also many questions about the proposal, such as if one already has insurance will they be required to purchase this additional insurance, that was not immediately answered. Thailand currently requires at least 100,000 USD insurance for Covid-19 related medical issues to enter, along with a number of other requirements. It is believed, however, that this insurance plan is more of a “long term” plan after the Covid-19 situation subsides.
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