Thailand to charge foreign tourists entry fee from June 1

Thailand‘s Cabinet yesterday approved the collection of an entry fee from all foreign tourists. It is expected to come into effect on June 1.

Foreigners arriving by air will be charged 300 baht (US$8.79) and those arriving by land/sea will be charged 150 baht (US$4.40), as proposed by the National Tourism Policy Committee two weeks ago.

Holders of Thai passports, diplomatic passports, work permits, special work permits for specific professionals set by the Labour Ministry, transit passengers, and children under two years old are exempt from paying what Thailand calls the “stepping on the land fee.”

The committee decided to halve the fee to 150 baht for land/sea arrivals after concerns that the 300 baht fee would put off Malaysian tourists crossing into southern Thailand for short trips of a few days.

The collected tax will be spent on quite a range of pricey projects, according to the deputy spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office Trisulee Traisoranakun…

Trisulee said the Tourism Policy Act allows for the establishment of a fund to support Thai tourism, which can be used for the development and maintenance of tourist attractions, marketing, conservation of resources, and the development of facilities that support safe tourism as well as insurance for foreign tourists.

The collected tourist tax will be used as accident insurance for foreigners and for the repatriation of bodies of foreigners who die in Thailand, said the spokesperson.

Thailand is one of 40 countries in the world collecting an entry fee from foreign tourists. However, Thailand is the first country to use the collected tax to give back to tourists through welfare, which will help tourists feel safe and confident, added Trisulee.

Trisulee said that Thailand loses 200-300 million baht every year due to insufficient collection of medical expenses.

Does this mean tourists no longer need to take out travel insurance for their trip to Thailand?

No clear policy has been set explaining how the “insurance for foreign tourists” will work, so The Thaiger advises taking out travel insurance to cover you in case of an accident, so you don’t end up relying on a GoFundMe appeal to pay your hospital bills.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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