Thailand government slashes hotel fees in tourism boost gamble

Photo courtesy of The Nation

The Thai Cabinet made a bold move to bolster its tourism sector by extending a waiver on operating fees for hoteliers for another two years. This strategic decision, made yesterday, June 25, aims to support the country’s ongoing economic recovery following the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fee exemption, which spares hoteliers from the annual charge of 40 baht per hotel room, will be in effect from July this year to June 2026. While this will result in a revenue loss of 54 million baht for the government, Deputy Spokesperson Karom Phonphonklang believes it is a necessary step.

“Waiving the fee will help reduce expenses for hotel operators that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and may remain unable to recover.”

Tourism is a cornerstone of the Thai economy, which has been struggling with high household debt, rising borrowing costs, and weak exports. The government is aiming for 3% economic growth in 2024, up from last year’s modest 1.9%. With tourism playing a critical role in this target, the fee waiver is expected to ease financial burdens on hoteliers and stimulate sector growth.

From January to June 23 this year, Thailand welcomed 16.84 million foreign tourists, marking a 36% increase compared to the previous year. These visitors spent a staggering 795 billion baht, with China being the largest source market, contributing 3.31 million tourists.

The government’s ambitious goal for 2024 is to attract 36.7 million foreign visitors, inching closer to the pre-pandemic peak of nearly 40 million in 2019, reported The Nation.

In related news, the Thai Hotels Association (THA) expressed strong opposition to the government’s plan to allow foreigners to own up to 75% of condominium units, warning that it could lead to intense price competition and market disruption. Concerns were raised during a meeting where members discussed significant issues impacting the hospitality industry.

In other news, as the fictional guests of Season 3 of The White Lotus bid farewell to their lavish Thai resort, tourists are gearing up for their tropical escape. The series recently concluded filming at multiple luxurious locations in Thailand.

Bangkok NewsEconomy NewsPolitics NewsThailand NewsTourism News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles