Travel agents call for tourism fee to be postponed until industry recovers

PHOTO: Engin Akyurt on Unsplash

The Association of Thai Travel Agents is urging the government to postpone the implementation of a new tourism fee until the sector has fully recovered. Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn says Thailand has averaged around 3,000 – 4,000 foreign tourists per day, since re-opening on November 1.

According to a Bangkok Post report, he says confidence is low ahead of the coming high season as many target market countries are battling new waves of Covid-19. Added to this is the high cost of PCR testing on arrival. Sisdivachr says the cost in Thailand is often much higher than in countries tourists are arriving from, citing India as an example, where a PCR test costs between 250 and 400 baht. He says the high price Thailand is charging risks deterring tourists.

Meanwhile, his colleague, Adith Chairattananon, says tourism operators want more clarity around how the tourism fund will be managed and who will benefit from it. Adith says that to ensure transparency, the government should include representatives from the private sector on the fund management committee.

In related news, he points out that most tour operators have not benefited from Thailand’s re-opening as airport transfers, Covid-19 testing, and accommodation are all handled by hotel operators, as required by the entry regulations. Adith says the Tourism Ministry has previously asked the Foreign Ministry to include tour operators in the process.

The Bangkok Post reports that the CCSA will meet later today to discuss a further relaxing of the entry rules, which may include replacing PCR testing on arrival with antigen test kits from December 1.

For more information on how to get into Thailand during the pandemic, CLICK HERE.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Maya Taylor

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