Thailand to drop unpopular tourism fee proposal, PM confirms

Thailand to drop unpopular tourism fee proposal, PM Srettha confirms

/ 04:51 PM June 09, 2024

Thailand to drop unpopular tourism fee proposal, PM Srettha confirms

Revelers take part in mass water fights on the eve of Songkran, or Thai New Year, on Khao San Road in Bangkok on April 12, 2024. FILE PHOTO/Agence France-Presse

BANGKOK – Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on June 8 that his government would scrap the proposal by the previous administration to charge a 300 baht (S$11) tourism fee from foreign tourists entering Thailand by air.

Mr Srettha said his government was not considering implementing the policy proposed in February 2023, which had encountered opposition from the private sector.


The Prime Minister said on June 8 that while collecting a fee of 300 baht per person could generate short-term revenue, a broader perspective suggests that if more tourists are allowed to enter without this fee, they would likely spend on shopping and other activities.


READ: Foreign tourists in Thailand likely to be charged $9 arrival fee from April

This could stimulate the economy and potentially generate more revenue for the government than the fee itself, he added.

Mr Srettha said that any decisions must take into account the voices of all stakeholders. He added that if the government could generate additional revenue from other tax sources, it would be possible to allocate funds to support tourism as needed.

When asked about Thailand’s ranking falling to 47th out of 119 countries in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) tourism and travel development index – a six-place drop from 2019 – Mr Srettha said that he wanted to be constructive instead of playing the blame game.

READ: Tourism tax: How does Thailand compare with other countries?

He said: “This government aims to continuously develop every aspect. And we should respect the previous government because all governments agree that tourism is a significant flagship that can generate substantial revenue for the country.


“Various polls have recognized many cities and islands in Thailand as world-class tourist destinations. We should focus on encouraging reasonable voices that can lead to further development, rather than listening to certain discouraging opinions.”

Mr Srettha also spoke about progress in discussions with technology giant Apple for collaboration on the Startup Centre at the Science and Technology Park of Chiang Mai University.

He said that they were prepared to finalise the initial deal, with the location already secured. Discussions with the president of Chiang Mai University have acknowledged the potential of this collaboration.

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Mr Srettha added that he was eager to extend this cooperation to include an Apple Developer Academy in Thailand, and mentioned that the team was arranging a visit by Apple’s executives to finalise the deal by the end of 2025.

TAGS: Thailand, Tourism

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