January 22, 2016 – Visiting Thailand may be a costlier affair in the near future as the tourism authority is mulling a 360 Baht surcharge on foreign visitors to the country.
Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the surcharge could be included in air tickets for those flying to Thailand or paid separately when arriving via other modes of transportation.
“TAT will soon float the idea and push it to the government for approval. The revenue will be granted equally to provinces,” he was quoted as saying by the local media earlier today.
Yuthasak said that should the government approve the proposal, the country could earn an extra 12 billion Baht per year with the projected 30 million tourist arrivals.
He said the provinces could utilise the extra revenue to carry out projects to improve the environment and security as part of local tourism development plans.
TAT’s proposal to impose the surcharge comes not too long after the government decision on Tuesday to double the visa-on-arrival fee to 2,000 Baht for citizens from 18 countries.
Some of the countries affected by this new ruling are Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Visa-on-arrival is issued at Thailand’s 42 entry points, including the Suvarnabhumi and Don Muang airports.
Yuthasak said the proposed surcharge and new visa fee would have an impact on the tourist’s pocket but not on the country’s tourism industry.
“We believe these factors won’t cause much trouble for tourism as the measures will not bother high-spending tourists. However, some tourists may not be happy,” he said.