Illustrative image (Source: chiangraitimes.com)
Bangkok (VNA) – The Customs Department of Thailand has announced the consideration of cutting down 30 percent of import duty imposed on luxury items as an effort to boost tourists’ spending.

The move if implemented will conform with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)’s target of increasing tourist expenditure by 15-20 percent.

Tourism is considered a spearhead sector contributing approximately 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Statistics from the Thai Retailers Association indicate that foreign tourists spend 1,208 baht (33.2 USD) a day on average on shopping, two times lower than in Singapore and four times lower than in Hong Kong.

Along with import tax reduction, the Customs Department also considers allowing a rise in the number of duty-free shops and collection centres to facilitate tourists, as the 10 collection centres for duty-free products may be insufficient for both Thai and foreign tourists.

The number of foreign tourists claiming value-added tax refunds is expected to increase to 100,000 a year from 7,000 now.-VNA