Thailand continues pushing for tourism revenue despite Covid-19

PHOTO: Amazing Thailand, Amazing New Chapters tourism campaign pushes ahead. (via Ben Hershey/Unsplash)

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged all government agencies to get behind the “Amazing Thailand New Chapter” tourism campaign being readied for launch by the end of January. According to a government spokesperson, the administration is pushing forward with tourism plans that the floundering economy so desperately needs, despite the growing spread of the Omicron variant and Covid-19 infections across the country.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports has created the new slogan and travel campaign to promote various tourist activities in Thailand. They are predicting between 5 million and 15 million people travelling to Thailand in 2022, with the projection based on no new lockdowns or border closures being enacted. With that range of tourist numbers, the government hopes between 1.3 and 1.8 trillion baht will be generated in revenue.

Various government agencies including the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Tourism Ministry plan on aggressively launching other campaigns aimed at boosting domestic tourism. For these tourism campaigns, the government will encourage travelling while at the same time calling on strict adherence to Covid-19 control and safety regulations.

While Thailand is desperately trying to entice international travellers to come despite the complex process to enter, they have also confirmed plans to enact something that travellers definitely won’t like – a 300 baht entry tax on all foreign arrivals, scheduled to begin in April.

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Many countries have had these fees for years, but most are rolled into air ticket costs (along with departure airport taxes, arrival taxes, state, local and federal taxes, fuel surcharges and more) and hardly noticed. Thailand is unsure yet how they will implement the extra fee.

Though it will be yet another turn-off for potential travellers to the country, the Thai government intends to use the extra 300 baht per arrival to develop and maintain tourism and tourist attractions.

The money will also be used for funding insurance coverage to handle accidents, infections or deaths of tourists while they are in Thailand, something of great concern during a pandemic. A hopefully silver lining: if Thailand then has coverage to handle Covid-19 hospitalisations and deaths, it could lead to the eventual removal of the US $50,000 insurance requirement for Thailand Pass entry.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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