Thailand continues to be a troublesome destination for airlines keen on resuming flights into the Kingdom. Firstly with the lingering Thailand Pass digital gateway, and now a new tourism tax (which will include compulsory insurance).
Thailand’s tourism ministry has confirmed the proposed 300 baht tourism fee looks set to be implemented from the third quarter of 2022. Ministry official Mongkon Wimonrat says the fee will be collected via a Thailand Tourism Fee system, which airlines will be required to adopt. He says the system will integrate with airlines’ websites and display an additional screen where passengers will be required to pay the fee.
Once the fee is paid, the TTF system triggers 30 day insurance coverage for overseas visitors on arrival in Thailand. The Bangkok Post reports that sa few passengers will be exempt from the fee, including government officials, diplomats, foreigners with work permits from countries covered by a memorandum of understanding with Thailand, and children under the age of 2.
During a meeting with airline representatives yesterday, Mongkon said carriers will be required to screen tourists and ensure the fee is paid before tickets are issued. He has invited local and international airlines to register for the process from May 2, adding that the ministry will provide training on the system and run tests prior to the fee collection rule being published in the Royal Gazette.
There is a requirement for airlines to prepare software that will integrate with the TTF system, and carriers are also being asked to communicate news of the levy to passengers. Initially, the fee will only apply to people arriving by air, but is expected to be extended to those arriving via other forms of transport in the near future.
For their part, airlines have expressed concern about the manpower and budget required to implement a system for collecting the fee. Speaking to the Bangkok Post, one unnamed airline representative says carriers are still focusing on recovery and increasing flight frequencies to Thailand, in light of entry restrictions being eased further from May 1. The new tourism fee now means they need to allocate resources and budget to the TTF system.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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