Govt Postpones 300-Baht-Fee for Foreign Tourists Arriving by Land

The Tourism and Sports Ministry announced that the 300-baht-tourism-fee implementation had been postponed until at least this year’s fourth quarter.

Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Tourism and Sports Minister, said that fee collection for tourists arriving by land needed more research, and authorities had to evaluate whether the fee amount should be less than 300 baht, as international visitor’s average stay is only 1-2 nights.

Although the tourism fee was on the agenda at this week’s cabinet meeting, the ministry decided to leave the proposal out for at least two more months. The fee collection is not expected to be implemented until the end of 2022 or even later since it would start 90 days after being published in the Royal Gazette.

Mr. Phiphat said that the fee collection is likely to be postponed from August-September to this year’s fourth quarter or the first quarter of 2023 at the earliest.

Moreover, the Tourism and Sports Ministry has recommended the government terminate the Thailand Pass’s registration for international visitors from July 1. The official proposal is set to be delivered to the Center for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on June 17.

“Eliminating the Thailand Pass system means tourists don’t have to buy travel insurance anymore, which should help make travel more convenient,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the agency would consider urgent views and queries from tour operators this Friday before meeting with the CCSA again.

The TAT held Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2022 in Phuket from June 8-10, the first international trade event to be held in two years. The fair, which featured 264 local vendors and 276 foreign buyers, is expected to generate 1.29 billion baht in tourism revenue from more than 8,000 trade dates, he added.

According to Mr. Yuthasak, the agency designed a strategy to boost the domestic market by extending the “We Travel Together” hotel subsidy scheme, funding 1.5 million room nights with the budget left over from the fourth phase.

If the system is ready for new reservations on July 1 as expected, local tourists could travel from July 8 to October 31.

Mr. Phiphat also suggested that there could be a fifth phase with 1.5 million more room nights available but clarified that the decision is in the hands of the Finance Ministry.