Thailand’s Tourism and Sports Ministry is considering the possibility of imposing a tourist levy, which will go towards improving local attractions, infrastructure and insurance coverage for foreign visitors.
In order to minimise the impact on the country’s tourism industry, Chote Trachu, the tourism permanent secretary, said the ministry is in talks with Naresuan University and the Office of Insurance Commission to study how best to introduce such measures. He added that the study will likely take six months to complete and it will attempt to determine the appropriate fee and where to collect the sum, according to the Bangkok Post.
Aside from improving existing tourist attractions, the tourist levy will be used to protect the environment as well. Popular tourist destinations in Thailand have been especially impacted by overcrowding.
Chote added that it will also be used to reduce the burden on the state from unpredictable medical emergencies by providing insurance coverage to foreign visitors.
Last year, Thailand welcomed more than 38 million arrivals, contributing more than THB 2 trillion (US$62.7 billion) in revenue. This year, the ministry is bracing itself for 41 million visitors, generating THB 2.2 trillion.