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Thailand Axes Tax on Alcohol to Boost Tourism

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Thailand Axes Tax on Alcohol to Boost Tourism

Thailand’s latest push to boost tourism involves extending the operating hours of entertainment venues and reducing taxes on alcoholic beverages. These new measures are designed to attract more tourists and revitalize the country’s crucial tourism sector.

Thailand’s cabinet recently approved reducing taxes on alcoholic beverages and entertainment venues. The tax adjustments include reducing wine taxes from 10% to 5% and eliminating taxes on spirits, previously set at 10%. 

Additionally, the excise tax imposed on entertainment venues will be halved, decreasing from 10% to 5%. These tax changes will remain in effect until the end of the current year.

Extended Operating Hours for Entertainment Venues

In addition to the tax cuts, the government has extended the operating hours of entertainment venues, allowing them to remain open until 4 AM. This initiative aims to cater to night owls and attract more tourists to the country.

Thailand has also been implementing various strategies to attract more tourists, including a visa waiver for travellers from India and Taiwan. These measures align with Thailand’s goal of revitalizing its tourism sector, which has experienced slower growth than its regional counterparts.

The latest government data shows that from January to October 2023, the country welcomed 22 million visitors, contributing significantly to the country’s economy.  These recent initiatives, including extending entertainment venue hours and tax cuts, are part of Thailand’s efforts to ensure a robust recovery for its tourism industry.

Thailand’s decision to extend the operating hours of entertainment venues and reduce taxes on alcoholic beverages and entertainment venues reflects the government’s commitment to driving tourism and economic growth.

Thailand and China Waive Visa Requirements

Meanwhile, Thailand will permanently waive visa requirements for Chinese tourists starting on March 1, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced on Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting in Bangkok.

The Kingdom had previously granted a temporary visa waiver for visitors from China and Kazakhstan, which is set to expire on Feb 29.

After negotiations with related Chinese authorities, the Thai government has now opted to adopt a permanent visa-free policy for Chinese tourists starting on March 1, Srettha said at a news conference following the Cabinet meeting.

“This will not only boost Thailand’s tourism industry but also signify further improvement in the friendly relations between the two countries,” he added.

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin confirmed that authorities on the two sides are in close communication regarding the matter and China looks forward to the arrangement’s early implementation.

“The further strengthening of people-to-people exchanges and the mutual visa exemption policy (once implemented) will conform to the fundamental interests of both peoples,” Wang said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

Tourism plays a crucial role in the economy, with 28 million foreign tourist arrivals recorded last year, including about 4.4 million visitors from Malaysia, and 3.4 million from China.

 

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