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The Traveller's Magazine
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Nothing’s confirmed yet but we could start seeing tourists paying up an extra fee to spend their holidays in Thailand. For now it’s free to enter the country, one of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations but Thai authorities are thinking of introducing a £10/head fee.

Since when did countries start charging tourists to enter like a theme park? It’s enough that some countries require additional visas (which can come at a pretty price) but now Thailand is considering a fee for every tourist just to enter the country. “Tickets please!” as you disembark from your flight to Bangkok. Maybe they’ll introduce season’s passes too?

thai-boat

The reason? According to the Thai government they would like to introduce this additional tourist tax in order to pay for visitor’s unpaid medical bills. In addition they hope to attract a better “quality” of holidaymaker. If the tax goes ahead it will be introduced in January 2014.

For now the Tourism Authority and other governing authorities still have to work out the logistics. For example the £10 tax would only apply to those visitors staying longer than 3 days. On shorter trips there would be a small stipend of 60p/day, payable to the border control man.

They currently estimate that 100,000 foreign visitors are staying in Thailand despite their visas having expired, many travelling without travel insurance. The lure for Thailand doesn’t look like it’s stopping with 22 million visitors in 2012 but is this the answer to attracting “quality” tourists that will, according to the Thai government, “stay longer and spend more?”

Tell us what you think, are you up for paying out a bit more to travel to Thailand?

Imgs: mith17, M4CR / Flickr cc.

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