Thailand To Impose Tourism Tax Up To RM39 On International Visitors Beginning June
The cost of travelling to Thailand is set to rise. As ultimately decided by the Thai government on Tuesday (February 14), the nation will begin charging foreign visitors a tourism fee beginning June 1 this year.
Air travellers will be assessed a tax of 300 Baht (≈RM39), which will be added to their airfare, while those arriving by land or water will be paid a cost of 150 Baht (≈RM19). Only individuals who stay a night in the nation, children below the age of 2, individuals visiting via diplomatic passports and those with work permits will be subject to the year-round charge.
The National Tourist Policy Committee’s proposed fee, which has been up for review since before the pandemic, has drawn criticism from the regional travel and tourism sector.
Government officials argued that it would help balance the medical expenses tourists incur at public hospitals, which amounted between RM 35.2 million and RM 48.4 million between 2017 and 2019, as stated by Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, minister of tourism and sports.
Additionally, it will promote the growth of domestic tourism, and the tax may potentially bring in more than RM 506.4 billion this year alone.
A passport that will be valid for at least six months after your arrival in Thailand is the only need for Malaysian leisure travellers, aside from the impending tourism tax. The Visa Exemption Program also allows visitors from Malaysia to visit Thailand without a visa. They are only permitted to stay for a total of 30 days as tourists, but are able to extend their visa to stay for an additional 30 days at any nearby immigration office.
Thailand’s tourism industry is experiencing a significant upswing, and to accommodate the recent uptick, the nation has even multiplied the number of immigration desks and taxis at Bangkok’s airport. 25 million tourists are anticipated in Thailand in 2023, as per tourism officials.
Similarly, in November, Europe intends to implement its European Travel Information and Authorisation System (or ETIAS), which will cost tourists between the ages of 18 and 70, a total of 7 euros (≈RM33). In Venice, the implementation of a new visitor entrance charge has been delayed, but is expected to commence sometime this year.
Bhutan also reopened its borders last year, where a $200 (≈RM880) daily visa cost is now necessary.