The fees were approved by DNP Director General Thanya Netithammakul on Nov 18, last year, and became law with the promulgation of the “Regulations of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation on the collection and exemption of service or compensation and service fees or compensation in service and to provide facilities in national parks, forest parks, botanical gardens and Arboretum 2021” on Dec 9, last year.
However, the schedule of fees did not come into effect until yesterday (June 7).
Under the new schedule of fees, listed under Group 4 of the schedule, entry to the Similan Islands and Surin Islands national parks costs Thai nationals B50 per child and B100 per adult. Foreigners are charged B250 per child and B500 per adult.
Group 2 of the schedule lists entry to Khao Sok National Park north of Phuket, the tourist-popular Nopparat Thara Beach - Phi Phi Islands National Park in Krabi, and Sirinath National Park on Phuket’s west coast as costing B20 per child and B40 per adult for Thai nationals. Foreigners are charged B100 per child and B200 per adult.
To download the full schedule of fees (in Thai), click here.
The new schedule of fees comes into effect while the country continues to struggle to attract tourists to help the economy recover, especially in economically hard-hit areas that are dependent on tourists, such as Phuket.
The new fees also came into effect on the same day that Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was in Phuket to announce his new ‘SMILES’ strategy for helping the battered tourism industry to recover.
The Phuket News maintains that the dual-pricing policy practiced by the DNP, and long supported by the Royal Thai Government, is illegal as it breaches Section 27 of the Constitution of Thailand for “Unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of differences in origin”.