The Thai government has reportedly approved new taxes on foreign tourists, which are due to come into effect on June 1. This tax has been the subject of many discussions within the government. We have to wait for the royal confirmation.
A tax of 300 baht per foreign visitor
Each foreign visitor entering the country by plane will be charged 300 baht (about 8 euros), while those arriving by land or by boat will pay 150 baht. Day travelers and transit passengers are exempt, as are children under 2 years old. The tax will not affect foreigners with Thai work permits or travelers with diplomatic and official passports.
The Minister of Tourism would have approved this measure
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, the Minister of Tourism and Sports, announced that the cabinet had approved the tax. The estimated 3.9 billion baht collected this year will be used as accident insurance for tourists, who used 300 to 400 million baht of services in public hospitals from 2017 to 2019.
An insurance contract abandoned last year
Last year, Thailand dropped the requirement for medical insurance worth at least $10,000, among all other entry requirements in the COVID era.
The government hopes to welcome 25 million tourists this year…
…just over half the 2019 total, but more than double the 11 million arrivals the country recorded in 2022.
The tax is not appreciated by tourism professionals
The head tax plan has received mixed responses from the country’s tourism industry, which at its pre-pandemic peak contributed a fifth of gross domestic product.
Some operators fear that the additional cost will deter some tourists from choosing Thailand. Others see it as an opportunity to finance sustainable growth in the tourism sector.