Thailand Eyes Tourist Tax
BANGKOK – The government of Thailand is looking to cover the expenses arising from foreign visitors using the national healthcare system and social infrastructures by charging a tax on all visitors entering the country.
In an interview with the Bangkok Post given on October 22nd, the Public Health Minister of Thailand Pradit Sintavanarong said that the government is now considering imposing a BHT 500 “tourist tax” to be paid by any foreign visitor entering Thailand and intending to stay in the country for more than three days.
The Minister informed that the “tourist tax” may be imposed as soon early as January 1st 2014, although the move is likely to be delayed in order to minimize any transitional and administrative difficulties during the busy tourist season.
The extra revenues gathered from the implementation of the new regulation will mainly be directed to funding new infrastructures mainly used by foreign visitors, and to additionally subsidies healthcare projects mainly utilized by tourists.
According to Pradit Sintavanarong the new tax will also positively affect the “quality” of tourists coming into the country, bringing in a greater number of long-staying and wealthy visitors.
Last year Thailand saw an approximately 22 million foreign citizens coming into the country, and the number is expected to grow even further throughout the foreseeable future.
Photo by Justin Gaurav Murgai