Tourism fees to help insure foreign visitors hinh anh 1Tourists in Bangkok, Thailand (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – The Thai National Tourism Policy Committee has approved the proposed guidelines for the collection of a 300 THB (10 USD) tourism fee from each international visitor for the management of local tourist destinations.

The money will also be used to provide insurance benefits to international tourists visiting the country.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said each foreign visitor will be charged 300 THB (10 USD) per visit. The details of the fee collection will be announced in the Royal Gazette once the policy has taken effect.
According to Phiphat, Thailand expects to receive some 10 million visitors this year.

He said the merit of the 300-THB tourism fee is that foreign tourists who fall sick or are injured will be taken care of and given adequate medical care, adding 34 THB of which is expected to be used for the insurance coverage.

Tourism permanent secretary Chote Trachu on January 14 said the fee collection was initially due to begin last year, but it was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the National Tourism Policy Committee has assessed the situation and agreed the tourism fee collection should go ahead this year.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) said the country had been forecast to close last year with merely 6.7 million international tourists, not much more than the number prior to last year's outbreak of Covid-19 despite government attempts to activate entry schemes for foreigners via Special Tourist Visas.

With a second wave of outbreaks gripping many countries around the world, particularly during the winter months, triggering new rounds of lockdowns, Thailand is expected to wait longer, until the second half of this year, to see more visitors file back into the kingdom and revive the ailing industry.

While the TAT previously predicted the domestic market would reach 100 million trips last year, the recent spike in local cases led the agency to revise down the target to 95 million trips, a result of the partial lockdowns in some provinces./.