Valentine’s Day came with a price on Tuesday evening, as the cabinet approved the Thailand tourist entry fee for international arrivals, starting from June 1, 2023.
With a few exceptions, Thailand will start charging a THB 300 (INR 723) fee for all international air arrivals, and a THB 150 (INR 361) fee for all international land and water arrivals. One-day visitors who do not stay overnight will not be charged.
According to the Bangkok Post, the government is expected to collect approximately THB 3.9 billion (INR 940.8 crores approx) from these newly-introduced tourist entry fees, and use part of the profits for health and accident insurance for tourists, as well as tourist attraction development across the country.
Thailand tourist entry fee confirmed at INR 723 for air arrivals, and INR 361 for land arrivals
Whilst many have voiced their concerns about a tourist entry fee to Thailand, it looks like there is no stopping the implementation of this new measure. As the country begins to return to pre-pandemic levels of tourism, the cabinet has returned to the long-proposed tourist entry fee for foreign travellers, and on Tuesday confirmed its implementation.
The fee will be THB 300 (INR 723) for international tourists arriving by air, and THB 150 (INR 361) for those arriving by land or sea. The fee is halved for those arriving on sea or land, as these tourists are likely to stay for shorter periods, according to tourism minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
For air passengers, the entry fee will be added to air ticket prices, on top of the already existing departure tax. This exit fee varies from airport to airport, with Suvarnabhumi charging the highest fee at THB 700 (INR 1,688) per person. The means for collection by sea or land are yet to be decided.
The tourist entry fee will go into effect from 1 June 2023.
Exceptions for residents and others
Day and transit passengers are exempt from the entry fee, as well as children under the age of two years old. Foreigners with Thai work permits and those with diplomatic and official passports are also exempt. Thai nationals, of course, need not pay this fee.
Thailand’s new eye on tourism
Thailand has seen a massive influx of tourists after the removal of all COVID-19 restrictions, and the reopening of China. A spokesman for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has stated that the country is expected to receive more than 30 million foreign tourist arrivals this year alone. In 2022, there were a shy 11.2 million visitors, whilst pre-pandemic 2019 saw a record-high at 40 million visitors, according to the Bangkok Post.
Reflecting on the pandemic, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has stressed its shift from volume to long-stay, high-spending, ‘high-value’ tourists. This new tourist entry could likely be a push towards this direction.
Main Image Credit: Robin Noguier/Unsplash; Feature Image Credit: Mathew Schwartz/Unsplash
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok
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