Thailand Cancels Plans for Tourism Tax

By TIN Media | Asean News Published 1 month ago on 24 June 2024
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THAILAND:

Srettha Thavsin, the Prime Minister of Thailand, announced during a visit to Chang Mai on 08 June 2024 that the Kingdom has formally revoked plans to impose a tourist tax on all foreign visitors. 

The Thai Parliament’s February 2023 proposal to impose a tax on foreign tourist visitors precipitated widespread protest, eventually causing the current Thai government to abandon the idea.

The unpopular proposal stipulated that foreigners arriving by land must pay a tax of 150 Baht (Rp. 67,000) or 300 Baht (Rp. 134,000) if arriving by air. The new tax was initially planned to take effect beginning in June 2023 but was postponed until September 2023. Following the Prime Minister’s latest pronouncement plans to impose a tourist tax have now been abandoned.

In 2023, Thailand welcomed more than 28 million international tourists, more than twice the 11.67 million foreign tourists who visited Indonesia in 2023.

The now-abandoned Thai Tourism Tax was projected to generate 3,9 billion Baht or Rp 1.7 trillion annually. The Thai government originally intended to use tax revenues to develop tourism areas and provide insurance coverage for tourist visitors.

Those opposed to the new tax feared its implementation would negatively impact the tourism sector and discourage visitors from visiting Bali. In turn, opponents expressed further fear that tax revenues generated by Thai tourism businesses would also similarly decline. 

Indonesian Tourism Tax

Meanwhile, neighboring Bali introduced a Rp. 150,000 tax on foreign visitors is effective 14 February 2024. Although plagued by an ineffective collection mechanism, the Bali tax on foreign visitors has the projected potential of generating Rp. 75 billion from 500,000 foreign monthly visitors. Despite problematic collection methods, Bali has managed to collect Rp. 61.4 billion from foreign visitors during the first two months of the new tax program. 


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