BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): The Tourism and Sports Ministry will ask the Cabinet next month to consider charging international tourists a fee to enter the country, the tourism minister said.
Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said on Tuesday (Sept 27) that a study on charging foreign tourists an entry fee would be carried out in a few days, after which the Cabinet would be asked to approve the move.
He said foreign visitors arriving by air would be charged 300 baht, while the fee for those entering by land, sea or rail might vary between 100 and 200 baht.
“It is expected the study will be done in three or four days from today [Tuesday],” Phiphat said. “Then, the matter will be submitted to the Cabinet in October. We have to make preparations in advance. If the Cabinet approves the rates, we’ll start collecting the fees soon.”
He said the foreign tourist fee collection had to be carried out in accordance with the National Tourism Policy Act of 2019 and the fees would be used to develop tourism and pay insurance for international visitors.
Cabinet to be asked in October to consider charging foreign tourists an entry fee“It’s crucial for the ministry to collect the entry fees because the government does not allocate a budget for taking care of foreign tourists.
When they are killed or injured in accidents, we need money to pay compensation,” Phiphat pointed out.
“If everything goes smoothly, the fee collection should begin early next year.”
Phiphat said the ministry has had the Tourism and Sports permanent secretariat sign a memorandum of understanding with Krung Thai Bank to link the payment system of the bank to the secretariat's system for collecting the entry fees.
This would make it convenient for tourists to pay the fee, the minister said.
Foreign visitors could pay via websites, applications, kiosks or when purchasing air tickets, he said.
Also, the data on entry payments would be used to develop the tourism industry, Phiphat added.