Thailand is set to introduce a tourist fee for travelers visiting the country beginning in June 2023. The announcement, made by the Thai National Tourism Policy Committee and green-lighted by the Cabinet will collect tourist fees of around 150-300 baht for visitors.
The fee will apply to all foreign visitors entering Thailand, either by air, land, or water. The fee is expected to be 300 baht (approx. USD$ 8.72) for tourists arriving by air, and 150 baht (approx. USD$ 4.36) for tourists arriving by land or water. For those who arrive in the morning and then depart in the evening, the fee will be waived.
The tourist fee will be included in the purchase of airline tickets for travelers arriving by air. Authorities have not yet determined how the fee will be collected from people entering by alternative ways.
Additionally, the tourist fee doesn’t apply to holders of diplomatic and official passports, work licenses for select professions as stated by the Ministry of Labor, transit passengers, children under the age of two, as well as other individuals designated by the National Tourist Policy Committee.
The funds collected from the tourist fee will be used for tourism development and insurance coverage for foreign visitors while in Thailand. Also, the fee will fund healthcare for international tourists.
The government spends between 300 and 400 million baht (USD$ 8.7M to $11.6M) annually to cover the medical expenses of foreign tourists at public hospitals. In addition, budget allocations have been made for the maintenance of tourist attractions, the development of tourist safety and security facilities, and the preservation of the environment and natural resources.
The Thai Cabinet also tasked the Royal Thai Police (Immigration Bureau) with enhancing its regulations, procedures, and conditions regarding immigration paperwork and associated immigration legislation. The authorities will utilize Thailand Tourism Fee receipts as evidence to provide entry permits to foreign tourists.
With 28 million foreign visitors anticipated to come to Thailand in 2023, the new tourist fee could become a good source of revenue for the government to fund tourism-related projects. The government expects to collect about 3.9 billion baht in fees this year.
Many nations currently charge such fees, and as an example, the EU plans to impose a tourist visa starting in November 2023, requiring all non-residents to fill out a paid application to visit.