The country is seeking to relieve its tourism sector ravaged since the pandemic. Thailand will introduce an entrance fee of $ 9 for foreign visitors. This tax will be put in place from April to finance the management of tourist attractions and cover accident insurance for certain holidaymakers unable to pay the costs themselves, said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Authority of Tourism of Thailand.
It will be incorporated into air fares, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said in a statement.
100,000 visitors in just ten months
In 2019, nearly 40 million visitors flocked to Thailand, one of the most visited countries in the world. But the kingdom closed from 2020 by imposing strict quarantine rules to fight the pandemic. Only some 100,000 visitors went there from January to October 2021. At the end of 2021, Thailand relaxed its draconian entry rules before closing again with the Omicron variant.
However, the “Sandbox” program has been expanded: three southern seaside destinations have been added to the island of Phuket. As part of this plan, fully vaccinated travelers spend seven nights in the “sandbox” area. If their Covid test is negative, they can travel freely throughout Thailand. A mandatory 10 to 14 day quarantine is applied for those who are not fully vaccinated.
Authorities hope to attract five million foreign tourists in 2022, a figure that could triple if restrictions from China and India, two of the main markets for the sector, are lifted.