Thailand Pushes Back Plans for a Tourist Levy

Thailand's tourism ministry has pushed back plans to impose a tourism levy for foreign visitors

Permanent tourism secretary Chote Trachu says it is an inopportune time to add travel costs for tourists with the strong Thai Baht already significantly impacting tourism growth.

Early this year the ministry announced plans for a tourism levy to help fund the rehabilitation of natural tourist destinations.

“We won’t implement a tourist levy this year, as it could worsen Thai tourism. Especially when the baht is so strong,” Chote said.

The ministry planned to impose a fee of just a few Baht, however adding to costs right now sends out the wrong message, and could act as a deterrent for potential visitors.

The strong Baht has led to a 3% decline in Chinese visitor arrivals in the first seven months of 2019, with fears the US-China trade war will only prolong the slump.

Still, Chote said the ministry is still confident it can reach the 2019 target of more than 40 million full-year tourist arrivals.