Thailand plans to charge foreign arrivals arriving by air a tourist fee of 300 baht (US$9.11) and a fee of 150 baht (US$4.56) for tourists entering the kingdom via land/sea by mid-2023.
The 300 baht tourist fee for air arrivals has been in the pipeline for a long time and is set to be enforced in June after facing several Covid-19-related delays.
However, the Ministry of Tourism wasn’t sure about whether to apply the fee to tourists entering Thailand via land or sea borders.
The biggest concern was that a 300 baht tourist tax could put off Malaysian tourists who are partial to crossing over into southern Thailand via land for short trips of just two or three days. In 2022, Malaysia was Thailand’s No.1 tourism market.
As a compromise, the ministry has halved the fee to 150 baht (US$4.56) for tourists arriving via land/sea.
Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, revealed that the National Tourism Policy Committee convened on Friday to discuss 1) the collection of tourist tax via air and 2) the collection of tourist tax via land/sea…
“At the meeting, we discussed various issues about the collection of the tourist fee (also known as “stepping onto the land fee”) until we came to an agreement. Now, we will seek approval from the Cabinet within the next week.”
Air arrivals exempt from paying the tourist fee include Thai passport holders, airline staff, and infants under two years old.
For arrivals entering Thailand via land or sea, those exempt from paying the fee include Thai passport holders, arrivals entering using temporary border passes, civil servants travelling for work and any employees travelling for day trips.
“All steps have been clearly agreed upon. The draft law is complete and is awaiting Cabinet approval. Then we can proceed with the next steps,” added Phiphat.
It is not yet clear what exactly the collected tourist tax will be spent on. According to Phiphat, the money collected from tourists will be used to support visitors involved in accidents and also to develop tourist destinations.
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