Thailand to introduce tourism fee from next year

Monday, 2021-10-04 20:04:03
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A tourist enjoys the scenic view in Mae Fah Luang Arboretum in Chiang Rai. (Photo: Pongpet Mekloy via Bangkok Post)
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NDO/VNA - Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports is poised to start collecting a 500 THB (US$15) tourism fee for a "tourism transformation fund" next year.

The Centre for Economic Situation Administration (CESA) last week approved the establishment of the fund, which is expected to subsidise projects that transform the industry, focusing on high-value and sustainable tourism, the Bangkok Post reported.

Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the fee collection of 500 THB per person should start next year, with the aim of collecting 5 billion baht within the first year, assuming 10 million foreign arrivals in 2022.

The National Tourism Policy Committee already gave the nod to start the fund earlier this year, with a proposed fee of 300 THB per person.

Yuthasak said the additional 200 THB will be earmarked for projects initiated by the private sector, community enterprises, or social enterprises that would like to transform their business to meet the fund's strategy; helping the country restructure from mass tourism to high-value or a bio-, circular and green economic model; and environmentally concerned tourism.

The fund is also meant to budget insurance and development projects for foreign visitors that require government initiatives rather than the private sector, including those needing matching grants from local administrations, said Yuthasak.

After the concept is approved, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and TAT are required to have discussions with related authorities about setting up the fund committee and funding mechanisms, such as how to collect the fee from tourists, he said.

The committee must develop a criteria to determine which projects are eligible for financial support.

He said the fund's objective is not to tackle the financial impact of the pandemic, but rather focus on long-term local economic growth.