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Thailand is also facing strong competition from its neighbours, and Vietnam recently rescinded all dual pricing at attractions to improve its competitiveness.