Legal foreign workers, border traders exempt from fee
Foreigners with a work permit or border pass are exempt from the 300-baht tourism fee, which is set to be collected from tourists in the second half of this year, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
“Expatriates who work in Thailand and have a work permit won’t have to pay the tourism fee as they are not categorised as international tourists,” said tourism permanent secretary Chote Trachu.
Others exempt from the fee include foreign diplomats and government officials, as well as children under the age of 2.
Foreign nationals holding a border pass granting them the ability to trade during the day will also not be required to pay the tourism fee, he said.
However, all other foreign nationals using a land border will be able to pay the tourism fee at kiosks located at border checkpoints or via related websites, said Mr Chote.
He said the most important step in the fee collection process is approval from the cabinet, which would enable the ministry to determine more precise details and a fixed timeline.
The ministry needs to cooperate with other agencies to ensure a seamless process, said Mr Chote. For example, the Labour Ministry needs to link its database of work permit holders with the Tourism and Sports Ministry, while the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand should coordinate with airlines, he said.
Of the 300-baht fee, a maximum of around 50 baht would be allocated to tourist insurance, while the remainder would be allocated to supply development, said Anukul Chancharas, director of the Office of the Tourism Promotion Fund. However, the exact proportions would be finalised at a later date, he said.
Insurance coverage for tourists might total 1 million baht per person in the event of death, while coverage for crematory expenses would not exceed 150,000 baht per person, said Mr Anukul.
For tourists encountering an accident, riot, terrorism attack, natural disaster or other incidents, coverage would be restricted to below 500,000 baht, while coverage for any damage caused by emotional distress would not exceed 20,000 baht, he said.
Mr Anukul said the board of the Tourism Promotion Fund will consist of five subcommittees, assigned to fund regulation, assessment, project investment screening, fee collection and insurance.
For three of the subcommittees, members will come from both the public and private sectors, such as a representative from the Tourism Council of Thailand in terms of the latter, he said.
For regulations and assessment, state agencies will take full responsibility, said Mr Anukul.
He said the fee collection subcommittee will allocate an administration fee for airlines that help collect the fee from tourists when purchasing tickets, with the rate likely to be no more than 2%. This decision will be finalised once the cabinet approves the project, said Mr Anukul.