Tourists will have to pay 300 baht ‘land entry fee,’ minister confirms

Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Minister announced today that tourists will eventually have to pay a 300 baht ‘land entry fee.’ The minister told the Associated Press the idea for this fee first came up after the Erawan Shrine bombing in 2015, after The Bureau of the Budget allocated some of it’s budget to treating injured tourists. But in 2019, the bureau said it couldn’t do this, and suggested the tourism ministry collect funds from tourists to use in case of emergencies.

The minister has not yet revealed the date the fee will start, but it will likely be included with plane tickets to Thailand. The minister says the fee will be used to pay for insurance and emergency services, and partly for tourism development. He stressed that it will be transparent to the public, and not go into anyone’s “pocket.” The Pattaya News media noted that the proposal for the fee has been “hotly disputed” on social media, as well as by the tourism and hospitality industries.

The proposed fee has drawn controversy because of how much Thailand’s tourism industry has been ripped apart by Covid-19. The president of the Thai Hotels Association said last month that if Thailand wants tourists back, it must put off the fee until at least 2023.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News | Bangkok Post

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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