Thailand mulls tourism fees

BANGKOK, 11 February 2020: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports is floating an idea to charge tourists a fee to fund renovations and the upkeep of tourist attractions

According to the National News Bureau of Thailand, the idea has been tabled for discussion at workshops attended by government agencies and representatives of the tourism industry.  It also includes a proposal to introduce insurance for tourists a topic that is routinely given an airing.

In the latest proposals, the ministry believes tourists should pay a fee to cover the cost of renovations of heritage sites to offset the damage caused by an increase in footfall at popular sites around the country.

The NNT report said: “The Ministry of Tourism and Sports will be holding another session to gather more opinions, and will collate all suggestions and submit them to Thailand’s Tourism Fund’s board, the National Tourism Policy Committee, and ultimately to the Cabinet for consideration.”

Feedback from both the travel industry and travellers as seen on popular news sites suggests the proposal will face stiff opposition. Travel trade associations are already complaining there are too many fees levied on tourists.

National parks levy entrance fees that are double or treble what Thai citizens pay. Most attractions have a duel pricing policy based on nationality. They claim the additional revenue from foreigners goes towards upkeep.

Thailand is also facing strong competition from its neighbours, and Vietnam recently rescinded all dual pricing at attractions to improve its competitiveness.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Another nail in the coffin for Thai tourism. I realize that some other countries also impose a tourism levy, but this is neither the right time to propose one nor should it ever be put into place given that many Thai tourist attractions already have a dual pricing policy. This dual pricing policy has actually expanded in recent years, despite Thailand becoming wealthier.

    It is puzzling when much poorer countries like Vietnam have moved to eliminate dual pricing at nearly all establishments that used to employ the practice, but Thailand has not only retained the practice, but intensified it. I can also see this charge as being levied on all non-Thais, rather than just tourists, since the Thai authorities like to play games with numbers and extract as much revenue as possible, therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if even permanent residents were charged a fee. Also, how practical would it be to collect such a fee from someone crossing a land border late at night, 5 minutes before closing time?

  2. ” Interesting ” concept under the present circumstances. Competitive destinations will be grateful for this de-marketing effort when they recovery actions

  3. What does the Thai Government do with the 700 baht per international arrival that they get now?

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