Thailand Exempts Hotel Fees To Boost Tourism Sector Recovery

By TIN Media | Asean News Published 3 weeks ago on 27 June 2024
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THAILAND:

Thailand's cabinet, on 25 June, 2024, decided to extend a waiver on operating fees for hoteliers for an additional two years to bolster the recovery of the country's tourism sector. They also approved a subsidy for rice farmers. 

According to deputy spokesperson Karom Phonphonklang, the exemption of the annual fee of 40 baht (US$ 1.1) per hotel room from July 2024 to June 2026 will result in a government revenue loss of 54 million baht (US$ 1.47 million). 

Waiving this fee is aimed at easing financial burdens for hotel operators who continue to face challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to regain stability.

Tourism plays a pivotal role in Thailand's economy, although it has trailed behind its regional counterparts due to high household debt, borrowing costs, and sluggish exports. The government, aiming for 3 per cent economic growth this year following a 1.9 per cent expansion last year, emphasizes tourism as a cornerstone of economic recovery.

According to tourism ministry data, Thailand welcomed 16.84 million foreign tourists from the beginning of 2024 to June 23, marking a 36 per cent increase compared to the previous year, contributing to a total spending of 795 billion baht (US$ 21.7 billion). China emerged as the leading source market, with 3.31 million tourists visiting during this period.

The government aims to attract 36.7 million foreign visitors this year, slightly below the pre-pandemic record of nearly 40 million in 2019.

Additionally, the cabinet has endorsed a subsidy of 30 billion baht to assist rice farmers in purchasing fertiliser, benefiting approximately 4.68 million households engaged in rice farming, as per a government statement.

Thailand, the world's second-largest rice exporter after India, has forecasted that rice exports could reach 8 million metric tons this year.


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