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Sunday 23 April 2023

Thailand pushes back start of new tax on tourists

Thailand has pushed back the implementation of its new tourism tax until at least September.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn told local media that tax, which will see arrivals In Thailand pay 300 baht ($AUD13), has been pushed back from its original implementation date of June 1.

The reason given: an inability to prepare the system in time.

The new date is now supposed to be in September of this year, coinciding with the formation of the new government, The Khaosod English website reported.

The start of the tax was previously pushed back due to problems processing the fee through airline systems.

The fee will be waived for foreign nationals who enter Thailand using a border pass or border crossing letter.The new entry fee is separate from the departure tax that has been included in airfares for decades. 

The exit fee varies based on the airport, with Bangkok’s main Suvarnabhumi Airport charging the most, at 700 baht.

Since the pandemic, the Tourism Authority of Thailand's focus has shifted from increasing traveller volume to attracting long-stay and high-spending tourists.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post reports the number of daily Covid-19 cases in Bangkok has surged from 400 to 700, nearly twice the number of cases reported before the Songkran festival, which sees people spray water at each other.

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