Ministry wants to study land arrivals
The 300-baht tourism fee faces a delay in implementation, beginning in the fourth quarter at the earliest, while the cancellation of Thailand Pass is expected from July 1, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
“Fee collection for tourists arriving by land requires further study, such as determining if the fee amount should be less than 300 baht because the average length of stay for these visitors is only 1-2 nights,” said Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, Tourism and Sports Minister.
The tourism fee was previously on the agenda for the cabinet meeting this week, but the ministry withdrew the proposal to sort out fee collection for land entry.
He said the ministry plans to resubmit the proposal to the cabinet within two months, with fee collection beginning 90 days after publication in the Royal Gazette. The starting date for fee collection is likely to be delayed from between August and September to the final quarter this year or the first quarter of 2023 at the latest, said Mr Phiphat.
The ministry also plans to propose on June 17 the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) terminate Thailand Pass registration for international visitors from July 1.
“Eliminating the Thailand Pass system means tourists don’t have to buy travel insurance anymore, which should help make travel more convenient,” he said.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the agency will discuss with tourism operators this Friday about other urgent inquiries before the next CCSA meeting.
The TAT has organised Thailand Travel Mart Plus 2022 in Phuket between June 8-10, the first time in more than two years for the international trade event. The fair is expected to generate tourism revenue of 1.29 billion baht from more than 8,000 business appointments, he said.
The event has 264 local sellers, of which 229 are hoteliers, and 276 international buyers from 45 countries, of which 45.7% are first-time participants.
Mr Yuthasak said the agency prepared a plan to boost the domestic market via the extension of the “We Travel Together” hotel subsidy scheme, which features 1.5 million room nights funded by leftover budget from the fourth phase. The system should be ready for new bookings by July 1 and local tourists can travel from July 8 until Oct 31.
Mr Phiphat said the possibility of a fifth phase with an additional 1.5 million room nights will depend on the Finance Ministry’s decision.
Published by Bangkok Post 9.June 2022