BANGKOK. Thailand. The Thai Tourism Minister told the Associated Press that the controversial 300 baht entry fee is still part of the resolution ready to be implemented soon, stressing that it will help the tourism industry as well as the travelers.
Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said that the ‘land entry fee’ on all foreign tourists visiting the kingdom would be used for tourist insurance, an emergency fund for those traveling in the country, and fund for tourism improvements.
The minister insists that the collection process must be transparent to the public to avoid using the program as another platform for corruption.
The plan first came out as a result of the 2015 bombing at the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok where many foreign visitors got injured. As of now, the Bureau of Budget handles some of the expenses for the treatment of foreigners who got accidents in the country especially if insurance is not available.
The Bureau, however, urged the Tourism Ministry to provide a better plan in case similar events happen in the future, hence, the idea of 300 baht ‘land entry fee’ was introduced and discussed in the cabinet meeting of that same year.
The said entry fee for all foreigners was first introduced to the public in January this year under the “Amazing Thailand New Chapter” tourism boost concept. Initially, the plan is to implement the program by the second quarter of this year (April-June 2022).
However, Minister Ratchakitprakarn did not tell the exact date the fee will take effect. Foreign tourists would likely see the fee included when they purchase plane tickets.