Government expected to postpone tourism fee until they decide how to collect it

PHOTO: Phuket International Airport - HKT

A 300-baht tourism fee which was set to be introduced from April 1 now looks likely to be postponed. The Bangkok Post reports that officials have not yet decided how best to collect the levy. Implementation is expected to be pushed out by around 2 months, although tourism operators have said they’d like to see the idea ditched completely, at least while the sector is fighting to survive the pandemic.

However, Thailand’s tourism minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, says the National Tourism Policy Committee supports the creation of a tourism fund, paid for by the new fee, and the next step would be proposing it to cabinet. Once it receives cabinet approval, details of how it will be collected will be published in the Royal Gazette within 90 days. He adds that implementation of the fee is being delayed as airlines are likely to be charged with collecting it and they’ve asked for more time to prepare. Collection methods for arrivals at land borders have also not been finalised.

According to the Bangkok Post report, around 20% of the fee will be allocated as insurance coverage for international visitors, while 50% will be used to develop tourism offerings in the kingdom. Yuthasak Supasorn from the Tourism Authority of Thailand says the country’s tourism products and services still need a lot of investment, in particular local products and festivals.

Tourism officials and other related agencies have agreed to support Thailand’s creative industries, with Yuthasak saying support of the creative arts and other cultural attractions, such as food, festivals, film, fashion, Muay Thai, music, and museums, could increase tourism revenue by 20%.

Apisit Laistrooglai from the Creative Economy Agency says the value of Thailand’s creative industries is expected to reach 1.5 trillion baht, up 3.57% from 2021. He points to festivals such as Bangkok’s Design Week, which takes place this month and is expected to generate 750 million baht.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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