The Thai government is pushing ahead with a controversial proposal to collect a 300 baht tourism fee from all international visitors arriving in Thailand, a government official said Wednesday.
The contentious proposal to go ahead with the scheme was initially approved by the National Tourism Policy Committee in 2020.
The government said the fund will develop local tourism destinations and provide visitors who fall sick with adequate medical care including insurance benefits.
Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, the government spokesman, told reporters that a collection of 300 baht from each international visitor will start in April, and it will transform the country’s tourism model to enable a sustainable growth.
“The fund will be used to maintain Thailand’s tourism destinations to focus on long-term local economic growth,” he said. “We expect to start the fee collection in April.”
Thanakorn also said that Thailand is expected to welcome nearly 15 million visitors throughout the year, which will generate between 1.3 to 1.8 trillion baht in revenue.
Sittiwat Chiwarattan, the chief of the Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) called on the government to drop its proposal for the collection in November.
“Collecting an additional fee will increase the travel budget of international visitors. It will affect their decisions to skip Thailand.”