Thailand set to delay collection of 300 baht tourist fee

Passengers at Suvarnabhumi airport. File photo

Thailand is set to delay the collection of a proposed tourist fee from all international visitors for at least two months.

The 300 baht tourist fee was set to be collected from all foreign tourists from April 1.

However, implementation of the fee will likely be delayed because details of how the fee will actually be collected are yet to be finalised.

The delay is due to two main issues.

For tourists arriving by air, the fee is expected to be added as a form of tax when purchasing an airline ticket.

However, airlines have reportedly asked for a further three months to prepare for being able to collect the fee.

In addition, there are still question marks about how the fee will be collected from tourists who arrive in Thailand via a land border, with the Tourism Ministry still to determine the collection method for people arriving overland.

Announced in January, money raised from the fee will be put into a central fund which will help to develop tourist attractions, as well as help to establish an accident and death insurance fund for all tourists.

The maximum payout in the event of a death would be limited to 1 million baht and 500,000 baht for medical expenses.

However, some sections of the tourism industry have been critical of the fee saying it could potentially put people off from visiting Thailand in favour of other destinations.

Thailand is not alone in taxing international tourists.

Many countries around the world, including Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, France, Spain, Germany, Portugal and Bali in Indonesia, as well as most Caribbean islands, have implemented some form of tourist tax.

Some countries include it as part of an air fare, others such as France and Germany, add it to the hotel bill.

Hua Hin Today recently explained how the 300 baht fee compares to similar in other countries.