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Calls for Transparency Over Thailand’s New Entrance Fee Fund

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Transparency of Thailand’s new Tourist Promotion Fund, believed to have a budget of more than 13 billion baht from the 300-baht entrance fee for foreign visitors, is a major concern of the tourism industry. The entrance fee will begin to be collected in June after this week’s cabinet approval.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports anticipates earning 3.9 billion baht this year and more than 10 billion from an anticipated 40 million tourists expected over the next two years.

The Association of Thai Travel Agents’ president, Sisdivachr Cheewarattanaporn, stated that fund administration needs to be open and adhere to the checks and balances system to prevent claims of corruption or wasteful spending.

In order to ensure that money allocation does not favour any interest groups or be used improperly, he said the organization of the Tourism Promotion Fund panel responsible for reviewing tourism project applications should be balanced between the government and the private sector.

Another issue, according to Mr. Sisdivachr, is entrance fee collection from foreign arrivals at borders because such avenues are most prone to corruption. According to him, the ministry must establish a careful system that can demonstrate the precise number of guests and fee total at each immigration station.

Mr. Sisdivachr stated that “we have to strictly watch the organization of the fund’s panel that examines all project ideas and approves regulations.”

The government should be able to reassure the public about the fund’s transparency given the enormous amount of money involved.

Thailand-Tourism Fee

Entrance Fee Collection in Thailand

The Tourism and Sports Ministry states that kiosks at checkpoints may be used to collect fees for visitors arriving by land so they can pay before going through immigration. The ministry indicated that certain services might be put up for bid by the private sector.

The overall receipts from the fee collection would be enormous, according to Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi, president of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), after deducting costs of about 50 baht per person for insurance. But, rigorous procedures would be required to govern the fund.

The fact that state agencies frequently fail to recognize the significance or urgency of initiatives, particularly those involving the development of human resources, is a significant barrier that the THA frequently faces, according to the spokeswoman.

According to Mrs. Marisa, these organizations frequently have no direct connection to the travel and tourist sector, and they frequently decline to provide budgets to the private sector.

While the private sector has knowledge and is familiar with the issues, she said, it would be more successful if the Tourist Promotion Fund members understood the industry.

The uneven development of the tourism industry presents a dilemma because while some major companies have access to qualified human resources, the majority of small operators do not.

It should be a priority for this fund to encourage projects that give smaller businesses similar chances for skill development.

When tourism taxes for foreign arrivals are implemented in June, Thailand will provide insurance for foreign visitors, according to yesterday’s statement from deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul.

Thailand, Health Insurance, Manditory, Policy

Health Insurance for Tourists

Tuesday, the cabinet approved the collecting of an entrance fee from each foreign visitor to Thailand. International travellers entering by land or sea must pay 150 baht, while those arriving by air must pay 300 baht.

Passport holders with diplomatic or official status, foreigners with work permits, children under two, day travellers, transit travellers, and other individuals classified by the national tourist committee will not be required to pay the taxes.

According to Ms. Traisuree, Thailand will be the first nation in the world to sell health insurance that covers accidents, death, and the repatriation of bodies once the costs begin. According to her, the insurance is a government initiative to increase tourist confidence.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, minister of tourism and sports, stated that the levies will be known as traveller fees for Thailand (TTF). The start date is anticipated to be June 1, and they will go into force 90 days after the government publishes the notice in the Royal Gazette.

In 2023, the government anticipates receiving 3.9 billion baht in fees. According to him, a portion of the proceeds would be used to pay for health and accident insurance for visitors while they are in the country.

According to him, the government would need to pay around 400 million baht in subsidies between 2017 and 2019 to cover the cost of foreign tourists’ medical care in public hospitals.

Dr. Natthawut Prasertsiripong, the director of the Department of Health Service Support (DHSS), claimed that some international tourists were unable to pay their hospital bills in full or in part after receiving treatment in public hospitals.

Although the DHSS maintained a claims centre to assist with pursuing payments from clients or their families, its efforts have been largely ineffective.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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