Tourism minister mulls adding new tourist levies

PHOTO: The proposals couldn't have come at a worse time as Thai tourism numbers falter - The Straits Times

The Ministry of Tourism and Sport is mulling the idea of collecting levies from international tourists for the “renovation of tourism attractions and natural resources”, as well as providing insurance benefits specifically for tourists. The Minister noted that the high numbers of tourists traipesing over the same well-worn paths and attractions, especially natural and historical treasures, also carried a high cost of maintenance.

The Tourism Ministry recently held its first workshop to gather opinions from government agencies and private companies working in tourism, as well as insurance companies and revolving funds. Most of the participants say the measure must be introduced at an appropriate time to minimise distruption of the national tourism scene.

They have also requested more details of the plan to use fees collected for attraction renovation and insurance benefits.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports will be holding another session to gather more opinions, and will collate all suggestions and submit them to Thailand’s Tourism Fund’s board, the National Tourism Policy Committee, and ultimately to the Cabinet for consideration.

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The proposals come at a time when Thailand’s previously ‘teflon-tourism’ has started to see massive drops in numbers following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus and, more recently, the negative publicity of the Korat Massacre. The impact of both is still fluid and a longer-term downturn in tourist arrivals is expected.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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