Thailand Introduces “Tourist Tax”

Thailand will implement a tourist tax, a recent trend growing in popularity in destinations around the world.

The Southeast Asian nation is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and awe-inspiring cuisine. One of the more popular tourist destinations in both the region and worldwide, Thailand also boasts plenty of luxury resorts and opportunities to live unforgettable experiences.

To ensure that there are plenty of these resources in the future, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has said it will focus part of its 2023 visitor marketing campaign on meaningful travel, including responsible tourism and sustainable initiatives. The program will go into effect starting June 2023.

An essential part of this scheme is a newly introduced 300 Thai baht (around $9) tourism tax for international tourists arriving by air. Travelers entering the country through other borders, including ports, will be required to pay a fee of 150 Thai baht (around $4). The one-time fee will be collected upon arrival in the country.

The funds raised from the tourist tax will go toward helping visitors who’ve been involved in accidents (or are sick with COVID-19) as well as developing tourist destinations, according to Thailand's tourism and sports minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn. He told the press the new tax could generate more than $115 million.

This isn't the first time that Thailand has considered a similar program. In January 2022, the country proposed a similar fee that was never implemented. Later that year, a rumored “sustainability tax” was also announced, but never put into effect.

Thailand has made many changes to its entry requirements since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of October 2022, Thailand has confirmed that international tourists from all countries are welcome to visit.  For U.S. citizens, no visa is required, but proof of a return airline ticket is often requested.

After some confusion about vaccination policies earlier this year, the country’s deputy prime minister and minister of public health said that "international travelers arriving in Thailand are not required to show proof of vaccination."

However, to avoid covering the medical bills of uninsured foreigners who contract COVID-19 while visiting, Thai authorities affirm tourists will need to have medical insurance if they are traveling from or onto a country that requires a PCR for entry, such as China or India.

Thailand joins a growing list of nations (and U.S. states) imposing new taxes or fees on visitors. In fact, Hawaii is moving toward imposing a new fee for use of its parks, trails, and beaches.

Additionally, the European Union is about to launch a new European Travel Information and Authorisation System in November that will impose a 7-euro fee (around $7) for all visitors in the form of a three-year permit that allows tourists to enter for up to 90 days within a six month period.

Over in Italy, Venice is set to impose a postponed tourist tax later this year. Another example is Palau, which requires incoming tourists pay $100 as a "Pristine Paradise Environmental Fee." Bhutan, Mexico, and New Zealand are all considering or have already adopted taxes on tourists.

Source link

Singapore Airlines Deals