Thailand’s Tourism Ministry is seeking to start collecting a 500-baht tourism fee to subsidize projects that transform sustainable tourism. The tourism transformation fund-collecting 500 baht per person should start next year.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor, Yuthasak Supasorn, said the fee collection is aimed at collecting 5 billion baht within its first year of implementation. The 5 billion baht figure is based on10 million international tourist arrivals for 2022.
Thailand’sNational Tourism Policy Committee has already given the nod to start the fund earlier this year, with a proposed fee of 300 baht per international traveller.
The Minister said an additional 200 baht bringing the proposed fee to 500 baht will be earmarked for: projects initiated by the private sector; community enterprises; or social enterprises that would like to transform their business to meet the fund’s strategy; helping the country restructure from mass tourism to high-value or a bio-, circular and green economic model; and environmentally concerning tourism.
Transformation fund paid by Thailand’s Tourists
“The projects should be co-creation between business and tourism and the central government should use the fund to support projects that can quickly create a positive economic impact. The proportion of government-private financial support could be 50:50; 60:40 or 70:30; depending on how much the government want to make the proposed projects happen,” he said.
The tourism transformation fund is also meant to budget insurance and development projects for foreign travellers that require government initiatives rather than from the private sector. Budget insurance and development projects that may need matching grants from local administrations the minister said.
After the proposed concept is approved, Thailand’s Tourism Ministry and Tourism Authority will be required to have discussions with related authorities, both local and provincial, about setting up the fund committee and funding mechanisms. Above all on how to collect the fee from tourists in Thailand, he said.
The committee must develop criteria to determine which projects are eligible for financial support from the tourism transformation fund.
Mr. Yuthasak also said he hoped the tourism transformation fund will help support a national tourism makeover creating more safe and clean places for tourists to visit in Thailand.
He said the objective of the tourism transformation fund is not to tackle the financial impact on Thailand due to the coronavirus pandemic, but to focus on long-term local economic growth for the Kingdom.