Thailand Reverses Decision, Cancels Plans for $8 Tourism Fee Proposal

Thailand Reverses Decision, Cancels Plans for $8 Tourism Fee Proposal

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced the cancellation of the proposed THB300 (US$8.2) tourist tax on airline passengers after significant private sector opposition. 

The announcement on June 8 follows the controversial "Kha Yeap Pan Din" (fee for stepping on Thai soil) tourism tax plan approved by the cabinet in February last year. Under the plan, tourists would be charged 300 baht (US$8.2) for arriving by air and 150 baht (US$4.09) for arriving by land or sea.

Srettha said that while the 300 baht per person fee could generate short-term revenue, it would be better to allow tourists to enter without the fee so they could spend more on shopping and other activities. In addition, he stressed that decisions must take into account the voices of all stakeholders and that additional revenue could be raised from other tax sources to support tourism. He also noted that his government is focused on holistic development and emphasized the crucial role of tourism in the country's income.

Earlier on May 30, Thailand initially decided not to abolish the controversial "Kha Yeap Pan Din" tourist tax. The new Minister of Tourism and Sports, Sermsak Pongpanich, said that his ministry had accepted the principle of the measure and was reviewing the implementation process.

This fee, proposed for late 2022, was intended to support tourism development, including facilities for people with disabilities. However, the cancellation of this controversial tourism fee plan demonstrates the government's responsiveness to feedback from the private sector and its concern for tourists' need for a more positive and attractive experience.

Tags: Tourism fee

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