Thailand is truly a magical-feeling destination. Bustling Bangkok offers gold-covered temples and fascinating cultural sites while the country’s gorgeous islands and beautiful beaches have some of the most luxe resorts in the world. The jungle-filled northern province beckons travelers to spend time walking with elephants and exploring pristine nature.
To protect these natural resources, the Tourism Authority of Thailand says it will focus part of its 2023 visitor marketing campaign on meaningful travel, including responsible tourism and sustainable initiatives. Part of this plan is a proposed 300 baht (about $9) tourism levy for incoming international tourists.
The country’s tourism minister, Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, said the funds raised will go toward helping visitors who’ve been involved in accidents and toward developing tourist destinations. The fee will be a one-off collected from air travelers upon arrival in the country, reports The Independent.
If this sounds familiar, that’s because this isn’t the first time Thailand has proposed this type of “tourism tax.” Last January, the country proposed a similar fee that was never implemented. Again, this past summer, a rumored “sustainability tax” of a similar amount was also announced, but it never came to fruition.
Lifestyle Asia reports that if this latest proposed fee is approved, it will go into effect in June.
Current Thailand entry requirements
There have been several updates to Thailand’s entry requirements. Most notably, as of October 2022, Thailand says that all international tourists are welcome under its “fully-reopen-to-tourism” policy.
After some confusion about vaccination policies this week, the country’s deputy prime minister and minister of public health, Anutin Charnvirakul, said that “international travelers arriving in Thailand are not required to show proof of vaccination.”
However, to avoid footing the treatment bills of uninsured foreigners who catch COVID-19 while in the country, Thai authorities say tourists will need to have medical insurance if they are traveling from or on to a country that requires a PCR test for entry, such as China or India.
“While Thailand is welcoming all visitors, a visitor’s country of origin or next country of destination may require incoming visitors, including their own nationals returning home, to have a negative PCR test,” the Tourism Authority of Thailand said in a statement.
Thailand has also temporarily extended the 30-day visa exemption rule to 45 days for those arriving before March 31. Those eligible for a visa on arrival will be permitted to stay for 30 days rather than the usual 15.