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Thailand plans to charge foreign tourists an entry fee of $9

Thailand plans to start collecting a 300 baht ($9) entry fee from foreign holidaymakers as the tourism-reliant nation predicts a recovery for the pandemic-hobbled travel industry once the current Covid wave eases.

The fee will help fund the development of local tourist attractions and an insurance program for visitors, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, said in a statement. The levy will be added to air ticket prices from April, while the method of collections from entry by land has yet to be determined, he said.

The plan for entry fee comes as the Southeast Asian nation attempts to chart the course for its tourism sector after the pandemic. The country has been experimenting with various plans to revive its travel industry with limited success. While Thailand was forced to suspend quarantine-free visas to curb the spread of omicron, it added more tourist destinations this week to the so-called Phuket Sandbox program to keep the industry afloat.

While the entry fee has been in discussions for a long time, its implementation was delayed by Covid, said Suthipong Phuenphiphop, a vice president of the Tourism Council of Thailand. The levy is similar to charges on tourists in many other countries, and the benefits that will come from the initiative will be huge compared to the nominal fee, he said. (Source HT)

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