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Tourist entry fees confirmed

BANGKOK: The Cabinet on Tuesday (Feb 14) endorsed entry fees for international arrivals of B150 and B300 to start in June, except for one-day visitors, according to the tourism and sports minister.

By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 15 February 2023, 10:32AM

A family walks through the international arrivals hall at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Photo: Somchai Poomlard / Bangkok Post

A family walks through the international arrivals hall at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Photo: Somchai Poomlard / Bangkok Post

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the B300 rate would apply to visitors who arrive by air and the B150 fee was for those entering the country via water and land transport, reports the Bangkok Post.

The fee was cheaper for those arriving by water and land because they were likely to stay in the country for only a few days, the minister said. Visitors who do not stay overnight would be exempted from the fee.

The government expects to collect about B3.9 billion in fees this year and part of the sum 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,” Mr Phiphat said.

The entry fee, widely criticised by the local tourism industry, comes as the country is witnessing a rapid upturn in arrivals that has gained momentum with the abolition of pandemic-era curbs and China’s move to end its zero-COVID policy.

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Foreign tourist arrivals may reach as high as 30mn this year, almost tripling from 11.2mn last year, according to some estimates. Arrivals in pre-pandemic 2019 were a record-high 40mn.

Authorities have long considered an entry fee for foreign travellers but its imposition was delayed by the pandemic. A part of the fee will also help fund the development of local tourist attractions, Mr Phiphat said.

The levy will be added to air ticket prices, while the method of collection from entry by land has yet to be determined, the government said last year.

Wuthichai Luangamornlert, managing director of Siam Park City, the operator of Siam Amazing Park in Bangkok, said he welcomed the move but added that “the collection of the fees and strict control of its use must be ensured to avoid any problems that may arise in the future”.

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Pooliekev | 17 February 2023 - 18:34:16

Not if the insurance is home based. If six English quid is a problem then you have that problem wherever you go. This isnt just farangs either, it's all races.

Capricornball | 17 February 2023 - 15:23:27

Gotta say I agree that this "farang tax" is pretty poorly thought out, and really quite unfair to long-term retirees. It could easily be set up like it was during covid. Proof of insurance coverage for the entire length of your stay is required upon entry. This is just way too much money generated to trust in the hands of notoriously corrupt Thai officials.

Taswegian | 17 February 2023 - 13:37:24

We always take out our own travel insurance before leaving. If I have confirmed travel insurance then it is a scam. So, avoid the tourist attractions and don't pay farang tax, don't use taxis or tuk-tuks, anything else I need to be wary of?

Kurt | 17 February 2023 - 13:22:47

Todays BP article ( 17/2, 05:51): "Calls for scrutiny of tourism fund" from tourism operators --> plus all comments (!!!) support quite well the thoughts some of us ventilate here. Indeed, you will read about Thainess. Yes, what is the existing Departure Tax used for? About all this is ZERO transparancy. Sinister.

Kurt | 17 February 2023 - 10:27:21

The Thai emphasis on raking in money. Not single Government word about tourists medical coverage during holiday here. If airlines collect prior the flight to Thailand do they provide the insurance polis? Or Thai immigration handing out upon arrival? Isn't it strange foreign airlines must(?) collect it.  Do airlines deduct a administration handling fee  before shuffling money to Thai Government...

Kurt | 17 February 2023 - 09:06:29

We talk here about approx 13 billion! Needed for not insured tourist 400, say 500 million only. De 'rest'( 12.5 billion) goes too ???? Of course tourists will not 'moan''. They have no idea about the dizzying amount of play money for 'tourists attractions'. Tourists subsidise it and next pay unjustified quatro amount of entrance fees everywhere. 

DeKaaskopp | 16 February 2023 - 22:30:21

As always only the usual old retires/expats on here start complaining about those 300b. Probably not a single tourist will moan about it as much as them. 
@Kurt  If you want to save 300b, just buy a one way ticket to your home country.

Prab | 16 February 2023 - 15:08:48

part of it used to cover tourist insurance and what about the rest of it?? can be used to pay for natural park entry fees instead  ? or tourist will need to pay and pay again and again fees for no one knows what they are doing?  really this is a pure government scam.. if the shit hit the roof it can backfire so badly 

Kurt | 16 February 2023 - 14:26:11

JohnC, did you read I wrote here yesterday I have a (International) Health& Accident Insurance, oh, plus a extra Covid-19 cover of $ 100,000.  So, no discussion about a B300, but about why if one has a fine insurance package?  What does one get for that B300 insurance? Agree with questions of Timothy. The whole thing gives me a scam feeling until now. No info is given yet about the whole thing...

Kamala Pete | 16 February 2023 - 11:14:01

I think the 300B is a fair payment - but who will audit the ongoing transfer of the monies collected to the hospitals? I suspect that any tourist who gets hurt and needs hospital care will be required to pay their own fees anyway.

Timothy | 16 February 2023 - 09:26:10

They are trying to make it sound like if you have an accident and need hospital care it will be provided free of charge. I say BS. They are calling it health and accident insurance? Are they providing a policy? What is the coverage? Is this for any hospital, or only a dirty, overcrowded public hospital w/o aircon or proper staff/equipment? 

JohnC | 16 February 2023 - 09:21:42

If 300B is such a burden for you kurt how do you afford to live here as a geriatric? 

Bobdown | 16 February 2023 - 09:03:00

Agreed. No insurance no entry. 

Kurt | 16 February 2023 - 07:48:19

What visa get the one day tourist, arriving by car, later decide to stay 2/3 days? Fee also help fund development local tourist attractions. So, the foreign tourist subsidise attractions, and when visit them he pays the tourist ticket price, very much higher of what the Thai pay. So called 'dual', but many times 'quatro'. A fantastic scam set up.

Kurt | 16 February 2023 - 06:19:32

Pascale,.not really. I buy 2 way tickets Thailand-> abroad->Thailand. Departing from Thailand one don't have to pay B300.

Pascale | 15 February 2023 - 15:26:20

@Kurt  It is the simplest way just to add  300b to the ticket price ! And whatever you expect as a retiree it won't happen. Airlines won't ask you !

CaptainJack69 | 15 February 2023 - 15:20:35

"tourist entry", "international arrivals" it's very xenophobic to not acknowledge the difference. But hey, this farang tax already has the xenophobia covered so carry on.

Fascinated | 15 February 2023 - 14:59:29

Do the math- ''as much as' 300-400 million in hospital fees' (how ambiguous is that?), revenue to be collected 3.9 bn! ' A part of the fee will be used for local attractions' so where is the rest going? Follow the money.

Kurt | 15 February 2023 - 10:50:44

Keep it simple. Demand tourists arrive with a holiday insurance. Have tourists arriving without insurance? Erect a Insurance kiosk in front of Immigration counter where they can buy a Thai insurance for their period of holiday in Thailand, shown on their return ticket, before passing Immigration.

Kurt | 15 February 2023 - 10:44:24

During top tourist years till 2019, cost of not insured foreign tourists were 200 - 400 million. Can't mention more precise? Now going to catch about B3.9 billion? Who's pockets are waiting for the difference? As a legal retiree I expect to be exempted after return from travel, specially I can show my health insurance polis. Can provide copy at Immigration.


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