Ministry looks at tourist levy to fund infrastructure

A tourist levy is being considered amongst a raft of changes to improve the amenity of local tourist attractions. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is floating the initiative after the National Tourism Policy Act was enacted and published in the Royal Gazette this week, according to the Bangkok Post.

The Ministry is now in talks with universities and insurance companies to research solutions that would provide additional funds but have minimal impact on the flow of tourists into Thailand.

This year the Ministry is predicting that 41 million travellers will visit Thailand.

Tourism remains a key economic driver in the Kingdom and has been on the rise for the past two decades. Last year Thailand welcomed 38 million foreign tourists contributing more than 2 trillion baht to the local economy. Local tourism contributed another 1 trillion baht.

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The tourist levies would be used to rehabilitate different tourism sites across the country. The other expenditure would go towards new infrastructure. One such idea is to build a proper port for passenger cruise ships in the South.

Japan and Malaysia have slapped tourist levies or departure taxes on travellers.

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