The Thai Tourism and Sports Minister confirmed that the 300-baht ‘land entry fee’ on all foreign tourists visiting the country would be eventually implemented, stressing that it would be used for tourists’ insurance and an emergency fund for those traveling in the country.
Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told the Associated Press today, February 23rd, that the fee collection plan was still planned to be put into effect as it was a resolution that was issued long before his era. TPN media notes that the proposal for the entry fee has been hotly disputed on social media and by the tourism and hospitality industry.
Phiphat clarified that the money would be, according to him, used to buy insurance for travelers who visited Thailand, provide emergency services, and the remaining fee would be used as a fund for the tourism development, chaired by the Permanent Secretary. He also insisted that the collection process would be transparent and accountable to the public and not go into anyone’s “pocket”.
The Minister revealed that the idea of a land entry fee was firstly raised into discussion following the 2015 explosion at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, in which many foreign tourists were also injured. At the moment, the Bureau of the Budget had allocated some of its budget for the treatment of foreigners.
However, the Bureau said they could not allocate the budget in 2019 and said that the Tourism Ministry should collect money from the tourists and use the funds as a treatment fund in case of an emergency. Therefore, the land entry fee proposal was introduced and discussed at the cabinet meeting in the same year.
The Tourism Minister did not, however, state the exact date the fee would take effect, which will likely be included with a plane ticket.
For the previous coverage, you can find them here:
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