BANGKOK, 4 January 2018: Thailand’s domestic travellers gain a tax benefit when they travel within in the country this year to designated provinces.
The tax break is an incentive to promote travel to what the government calls secondary provinces.
The Thai Cabinet announced the approval of personal income tax break, 26 December, that can save travellers up to THB15,000 on their annual tax returns in 2018.
The tax break is valid for travel expenses for hotel, homestay and tour operator expenses on costs incurred 1, January to 31 December.
The policy will promote domestic tourism to 55 “secondary provinces”.
The “secondary” definition excludes popular tourist destinations in provinces such as Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi in the South, Surat Thani, which includes Samui Island on the Gulf of Thailand, Hua Hin and Cha am and Kanchanaburi in the central region as well as Chonburi and Rayong provinces on the east coast.
It does include almost all provinces in the Northeast and North Thailand. The exceptions are Khon Kaen in the Northeast and Chiang Mai in North Thailand.
Similar incentives were first introduced 2010 when tourism was in the doldrums due to a political crisis and again in 2014, 2015 and 2016 to spur the economy.
The 2018 New Year holiday travel boom should see tourism receipts from foreign and Thai tourists reach THB34.15 billion, up 12.5% year-on-year during the entire festive season that ende yesterday
Tourism earning, over the festive season, improved due to resurgence in the China market, after poor performance in 2016, blamed on the zero dollar tour package crackdown.
KResearch estimated that foreign tourism receipts during the holiday week will total THB22.87 billion, rising 15%, and Thais will contribute an estimated THB11.28 billion, up 6.9%.
The government tries oftenly to use the tax break tool to promote domestic tourism in the country but we don’t know clearly about the return from this method. They(the government) always release that they gain good response from this method but it’s not clearly defined. It seems they would like to gift the people with holiday incentives, but detailed information on the results is lacking.
Thai tourists must remember to check the province before they visit to see if it is on the list of 55 provinces if they would like to gain tax break. 15,000 Baht is not much for rich Thais to gain a tax break. Secondary and the less popular tourism places are not easy to promote. Also using receipts to claim could lead to abuse of the system. We hope the government will release clearly results of this program . There are many factors in the secondary and less popular places that obstacle people to travel, and that make it more difficult for the tax break to push much people to travel.
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