Tourists visiting Thailand may soon find that the country a costlier
destination with several new fees potentially required of foreign
visitors in the works.
Thailand is set to impose the 300 baht (US$8.20) tourism on
international arrivals, which was first proposed in 2021 although its
implementation has been repeatedly pushed back. The fee will serve as
insurance coverage of up to 500,000 baht per person in case of accidents
and natural disasters.
Thai Tourism and Sports Ministry revealed that the collection method
and system for air arrivals is now ready to launch, while further
studies will be conducted on fee collection for arrivals coming through
land and sea. No date of implementation of the tourism fee has been
Dual hotel rates
In addition, Thailand also plans to introduce a dual-tariff structure
for accommodation in the country - one rate that is similar to
pre-Covid levels for the foreigner market, and a discounted rate for the
At the same time, the authorities have urged hotels, businesses and
private hospitals in the country to refrain from offering big discounts
to woo tourists. and focus instead on raising the country's value as a
premium travel destination.
Thailand has lifted all Covid-19 restrictions were lifted since 1
July, and visitor numbers have swiftly returned to the country since the
pandemic entry requirements were progressively eased earlier this year.
It is projected that foreign tourist arrivals could reach 8 million
this year after recording higher numbers over the past few months,
according to the Bank of Thailand.
Keeping up the value
Travel agents urge the Thai authorities to convey the fee introduction message to foreign tourists with caution.
The tourist fee amount is "minimal", said David Kevan, partner at
UK-based Chic Locations, who likens it to the price of a glass of house
wine at most hotels.
Most tourists, with the exception of the low-end or backpacking
segments, will already have taken out "fully comprehensive insurance so
Thailand is essentially asking them to pay again for something they have
If the Thai government is concerned about travellers entering the
country without insurance, Kevan believes that showing proof of
insurance as a required condition of entry would be a more viable
"Thailand has so much going for it, not least the incredible value
for money once you have arrived. This is in contrast to many other
countries who have hotel rates and incidentals based on US dollars.
"But it needs to be seen as being sensitive to overseas travellers and not take them for granted," he cautions.