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All foreigners entering Thailand to pay tourism fee

All foreigners entering Thailand are expected to pay the proposed 300-baht tourism fee.

The government is expected to impose the charge without any exceptions as it will serve as an insurance coverage of up to 500,000 baht per person, including for accidents and natural disasters.

According to a Bangkok Post report, since it was announced early this year, the introduction of the fee has been repeatedly postponed and it remains unclear when the collection will start.

Mongkon Wimonrat, assistant permanent secretary at the Tourism and Sports Ministry, said the fee collection method and system for air arrivals was now ready to begin.

However, the government still wants to conduct further studies on land and sea entry.

The government is expected to start the collection when a feasible collection method is finalised for all entry points.

Diplomats and expatriates living in Thailand are expected to be excluded from paying the tourism fee.

Although there have been calls for more groups to be exempted, Mongkon said it cannot be implemented as airline ticketing systems have to embed the fee, and airfares only recognise passenger information listed in passports.

As a result, he said the fee collection will apply to all entrants who are not Thai citizens, regardless of nationality or visa type.

“The 300 baht fee will guarantee insurance coverage during foreigners’ stay in Thailand for up to 30 days,” said Mongkon.

The ministry said that for travellers who were injured in accidents, riot, terrorism attack, natural disaster or other incidents, the coverage was up to a maximum of 500,000 baht, while coverage for any damage caused by emotional distress will be a maximum of 20,000 baht.

In the event of death, the insurance pays out 1 million baht per person, while coverage for cremation expenses is up to 150,000 baht per person.

The Post report also said the ministry pointed out that Covid-19 and other types of illness are excluded from this coverage.

“The government has to reconsider the timeline to start this programme. Some countries have not fully reopened, so we might have to wait for a more appropriate time to launch.”

Mongkon said the entry fee for those entering the country with a day pass will be reduced from 300 baht to facilitate cross-border trade and business.

It was also previously reported that the Airlines Association of Thailand had raised concerns about the scheme as the fees applied to foreigners might be regarded as discriminatory.

Last month, the ministry removed the fee collection scheme from the agenda of a cabinet meeting, saying the collection method for land entry had not yet been decided.

If the scheme is approved by the cabinet, fee collection is expected to begin within 90 days after publication in the Royal Gazette.

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