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Foreigners divided on ‘tourist entry fee’, says poll

Foreigners divided on ‘tourist entry fee’, says poll

PHUKET: Respondents to an online poll by The Phuket News are divided over whether the ‘tourist entry fee’ currently set to come into effect in June should be implemented in its current form.

By The Phuket News

Monday 27 February 2023, 01:30PM

Image: The Phuket News

Image: The Phuket News

The Phuket News conducted the online poll from last Tuesday through to midnight Friday (Feb 21-24), asking the simple question, ‘Do you support the B300 tourist entry fee?’

The entry fee, now approved by Cabinet, will see the government charge B300 for people arriving by air and B150 for people arriving by land or sea. The issue has sparked much debate over whether the fee should be introduced at all, and what the money should be spent on.

The primary reason given by government officials so far is that the entry fee will be used to provide health and accident insurance coverage for tourists during their stay in the country.

“The entry fee will support care for tourists. From 2017 to 2019, foreign tourists used services at public hospitals and that cost the state as much as B300-400 million,” Tourism & Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn explained.

However, the move is projected to collect B3.9bn from the introduction of the fee this year alone, and more than B10bn from 40 million visitors estimated for next year.

Asked if they supported the move to introduce the entry fee, 45.56% of people voting in the online poll chose, “No, we can’t trust that the money collected will be spent properly”.

A further 28.40% voted, “No, let the tourists spend the B300 while on holiday here”.

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In support of the fee, 20.12% of respondents voted, “Yes, but only if the use of funds is transparent”.

Only 5.92% voted, “Yes, without any conditions”.

Of note, while the issue stirred much debate and comments online, the poll last week garnered only 169 responses.

Of those, 68% of the respondents marked themselves as ‘Local expatriate residents’ and 30% considered themselves to be a ‘Foreign visitor to Phuket’. Only 2% of the respondents said they were Thai nationals.

Although the poll represents a small sample of those to be affected by the entry fee, a consistent response in the comments provided marked that many foreigners in Phuket ‒ and Thailand ‒ already have health and accident insurance, and thus should be exempt from the entry fee.

Similar comments suggested that Thai officials make health and accident insurance mandatory for entering the country, and offer a range of Thai-based policies at the point of entry.

The entry fee does not apply to Thai nationals.

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Mr Richie | 28 February 2023 - 10:27:52

no insurance no entry, if you are fully insured and have the proper paperwork OK if not you have to take out a policy at the airport to be able to carry on with your holiday, as for the rest of it I pay entrance fees and plenty more for all the other sevices that I use and I don't leave rubbish on the beach to be picked up by someone else. I love Phuket and always do the right thing sort it ou...

Kurt | 28 February 2023 - 08:08:41

Entry fee for arrivals by air: 300thb. For arrivals by land/sea 150thb only. So, does that mean differents in insurance policy value? Must be. Anyway, it very strange that the way of arrival definite how much premium one pays for staying IN the country for SAME(?) policy.


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