The tax break is an incentive to promote travel to what the government calls secondary provinces.
The Thai Cabinet announced the approval of personal income tax breaks late last month, allowing travellers to claim up to B15,000 on their annual tax returns in 2018.
The tax break is valid for travel expenses for hotel, homestay and tour operator expenses to destinations in 55 “secondary provinces” from Jan 1 through Dec 31, 2018.
The “secondary provinces” do not include already popular tourist destinations, such as Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Surat Thani (including Koh Samui), Hua Hin and Cha am and Kanchanaburi, as well as Chonburi (including Pattaya) and Rayong.
However, they do include almost all provinces in the Northeast and North Thailand, except Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai.
Similar incentives were first introduced 2010 when tourism was in the doldrums due to a political crisis and again in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to spur the economy.
The 2018 New Year holiday travel boom should see tourism receipts from foreign and Thai tourists reach B34.15 billion, up 12.5% year-on-year, during this year’s festive season closing on Jan 3.
Tourism earnings over the festive season improved due to resurgence in the China market, after poor performance in 2016, blamed on the “zero-dollar” tour package crackdown.
Economic policy think-tank KResearch estimates that foreign tourism receipts during the holiday week will total B22.87bn, rising 15% year-on-year, and that Thais will contribute an estimated B11.28bn, up 6.9% on last year.
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