Tourism professionals and businesses have protested the fee because the sector is only beginning to return to profitability after being decimated for two years by Covid-19. Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn said the fee will remain. Tour groups with insurance may waive the tourist fee. Losses from tourist emergencies are not negligible. Last week should mark the end of collecting fees for land landings in Thailand. According to him, the law cannot be amended, only delayed. Proponents of the fee say the 300 Baht is needed to pay emergency costs with tourists, especially after the Covid disasters. Between 2017 and 2019, foreign patients seeking medical care but not paying their bills wasted over 350 million baht. The Health Ministry needed government cash to compensate hospitals. The Ministry has a contract with Krungsri Bank to handle the charge’s finances. In addition to kiosks, a smartphone app, and a website payment portal, they will collect the tourism tax included in air tickets.

Nearly 90% of the money will go toward universally accessible public facility designs in Thailand. Cabinet will discuss the 300-baht tourism fee at month’s end. They might start immediately or wait. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is researching the tourism fee’s effects. The Cabinet may then apply the Thailand Traveler Fee immediately or later. Border pass holders who frequently enter and exit Thailand may pay less for day trips. Many are outraged that the government is establishing another barrier to tourism while the industry faces financial difficulties, expensive and inconvenient flights, and other challenges. Most tourists have travel insurance, but according to Pipat, Thailand often denies claims. The tourism minister agrees to top off emergency money. With these and other upgrades, tourism will compete with other popular destinations. The money raised will cover more than hospital costs. If tourism resumes to pre-pandemic levels, the tax might raise 12 billion baht annually.

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