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Sunday 15 January 2023

Welcome to our country: now line-up to pay us a fee

Charging tourists to enter a country seems to be strangely counter productive.

Tourism officials spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money on promotions and advertising aimed at convincing tourists that their region or country is THE one to visit.

Then, when those tourist arrive - buoyant and ready to spend money - they are often delayed in long lines to pay an entry tax of just a few dollars.

It is nickel-and-diming at its absolute worst - and very silly. 

Now Thailand, having pondered the idea, has decided that it plans to a new charge when visitors enter the country.

Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has said the new fee will come into effect in June, although it is still awaiting cabinet approval.

The proposed fee will be 300 baht (approximately $9 USD or $13 AUS), and will apply to all foreign tourists arriving in the country.

The minister said the fee will support medical costs for foreign tourists who are involved in accidents or injured while in Thailand, as well as aiding the development of tourist destinations in Thailand.

Frankly, if tourists are too stupid to get travel insurance they do not deserve support if they need hospitalisation.

We await full details of how the charge will be implemented,  but let's hope the cost is automatically added to the cost of airfares as there are already far to many airport queues for travellers to negotiate.

Foreigners with work permits will apparently not be charged - and there is still a possibility the charge might not be implemented.

Last January, Thailand officials proposed a similar fee that was never imposed.

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