Thailand Adding New Tourism Fee in April
Officials from Thailand announced a new $9 tourism fee for travelers arriving in the country starting in April.
According to Reuters.com, Thailand's tourism industry was devastated by the coronavirus pandemic-with arrivals dropping to 200,000 compared to the nearly 40 million in 2019-and the government wants to use the new fee to develop attractions and cover accident insurance for foreigners unable to pay costs themselves.
In addition to the tourism fee, foreign travelers entering Thailand must pay for COVID-19 tests, hotel accommodation or quarantine before arriving and show proof of insurance with coronavirus treatment coverage of at least $50,000.
"Part of the fee will be used to take care of tourists," Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told Reuters. "We've encountered times when insurance didn't have coverage for tourists...which became our burden to take care of them."
The country revised its strict quarantine measures in November and replaced them with a "Test and Go" program for vaccinated visitors, but the rising number of Omicron-related coronavirus cases forced officials to suspend the plan.
Travelers will see the $9 fee when booking airline tickets-included in the price-and the country expects between five- and 15-million foreign arrivals this year, according to government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana.
International arrivals are expected to generate around $23.97 billion this year.