Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports the collection of a 300 baht tourism fee from foreign visitors will be delayed by at least two months from April 1 as payment methods have not yet been finalized.
Given the industry’s slow recovery following the pandemic, tourism operators have bemoaned the 300-baht charge as untimely.
During Monday’s National Tourism Policy Committee meeting, Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told the Bangkok Post he supported the creation of a tourism fund based on fees collected.
The next step is for the cabinet to be asked to approve the policy. After receiving approval, the fees will be announced in the Royal Gazette within 90 days.
However, implementation is likely to be delayed beyond April, as airlines, who will be responsible for collecting the tourism fee, have asked for at least three months to prepare. For those entering the country overland, the ministry must also finalize collection methods.
The fund committee will be chaired by the permanent secretary for tourism and will consist of representatives from the Budget Bureau, Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council, the private sector, and various other state agencies.
Tourism fee to cover insurance
In the 300-baht fee, about 20% is designated for insurance coverage for international tourists, with the majority (50%) going toward the development of tourism products in Thailand.
Thailand’s Tourism Authority (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the country’s tourism supply, both in terms of products and services, still needs a lot of development to generate more value, especially local products and festivals that can create more income for all.
A memorandum of understanding with regards to the tourism fee was signed on Thursday by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and two state entities — the Creative Economy Agency (CEA) and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau — to develop the creative industry via festivals and tourism areas that can be used to promote soft power and local creative industries.
According to Yuthasak, the cooperation and the tourism fee should increase tourism revenue by 20% through nine categories: food, film, fashion, festivals, fights (traditional boxing), music, museums, masters, and the metaverse.
The value of the creative industry in Thailand is expected to reach 1.5 trillion baht this year, an increase of 3.57% from last year, according to Apisit Laistrooglai, executive director of the Creative Economy Association.
The annual Design Week festival in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Khon Kaen, which is held in more than 150 cities globally, can lead to recognition, according to Mr. Apisit.
In this month’s Bangkok Design Week, 750 million baht is expected to be generated.
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