Thailand plans tourist entry fee of 500 baht

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suvarnabhumi_airportThe Thai government is mulling a plan to charge foreigners a 500-baht ($16) entry fee from January 2014, an idea the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Public Health and the Royal Thai Police have agreed on.

The extra charge would lead to an “increase in the quality of tourists” entering Thailand, officials said. The money would be used “for many purposes” by the tourism, health and foreign affairs ministries, and the Immigration Bureau.

The new entry charge would take effect from January 1, but it could be put off to mid-January because there would be many tourists entering the country at that time and “they might get confused”.

The plan is that foreigners who stay in Thailand no more than three days would be charged 30 baht a day, while those who stay more than three days would have to pay 500 baht. Foreigners who arrive at airports  would be charged 500 baht, while those who enter the country by land would be charged 30 baht a day.

However, not everybody in the country is happy with the proposal. The Thai Hotels Association said it disagreed with the 500-baht entry fee. It lacked transparency and “would significantly hurt the tourism industry”.

The Association of Thai Travel Agents also said it is “not a good move” and not in line with the government’s plan to promote tourism. The Tourism Council of Thailand said collecting entry fees from foreigners would dampen the tourism atmosphere in general.

Internet posters said that the new fee would be a “simple money grab” and the idea was “ridiculous”. Thai travelers should be charged in turn when they visit another country, one suggested. “Thailand is shooting itself in the foot,” another said.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

The Thai government is mulling a plan to charge foreigners a 500-baht ($16) entry fee from January 2014, an idea the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Public Health and the Royal Thai Police have agreed on.

Reading Time: 1 minute

suvarnabhumi_airportThe Thai government is mulling a plan to charge foreigners a 500-baht ($16) entry fee from January 2014, an idea the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the Ministry of Public Health and the Royal Thai Police have agreed on.

The extra charge would lead to an “increase in the quality of tourists” entering Thailand, officials said. The money would be used “for many purposes” by the tourism, health and foreign affairs ministries, and the Immigration Bureau.

The new entry charge would take effect from January 1, but it could be put off to mid-January because there would be many tourists entering the country at that time and “they might get confused”.

The plan is that foreigners who stay in Thailand no more than three days would be charged 30 baht a day, while those who stay more than three days would have to pay 500 baht. Foreigners who arrive at airports  would be charged 500 baht, while those who enter the country by land would be charged 30 baht a day.

However, not everybody in the country is happy with the proposal. The Thai Hotels Association said it disagreed with the 500-baht entry fee. It lacked transparency and “would significantly hurt the tourism industry”.

The Association of Thai Travel Agents also said it is “not a good move” and not in line with the government’s plan to promote tourism. The Tourism Council of Thailand said collecting entry fees from foreigners would dampen the tourism atmosphere in general.

Internet posters said that the new fee would be a “simple money grab” and the idea was “ridiculous”. Thai travelers should be charged in turn when they visit another country, one suggested. “Thailand is shooting itself in the foot,” another said.

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