Thailand to introduce US$9 visitor fee from April

"Revenues will be used for foreign tourists' insurance coverage and infrastructure improvement for sustainable tourism," Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn told AFP.

Tourism revenues are forecast at US$39 billion to US$54 billion this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, around US$24 billion dollars of which is expected from foreign travellers.

An estimated five million foreign tourists are expected to enter the kingdom in 2022 if current travel patterns remain the same, according to the ministry's forecast, down from nearly 40 million a year before the pandemic.

But the tally could rise to 15 million visitors if arrivals from China, India, and neighbouring countries improve.

Thailand eased its entry rules towards the end of 2021 as it sought to reboot tourism, but changed the regulations again as cases of the Omicron variant surged worldwide.

Authorities have extended the suspension of a no-quarantine "test and go" scheme until further notice.

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But they have also extended the "Sandbox" scheme, adding three southern beach destinations to the island of Phuket.

Under the programme, fully vaccinated travellers spend seven nights in the sandbox area then can move elsewhere in Thailand, assuming they test negative for COVID-19.

A mandatory quarantine period of 10 to 14 days is applied for those who are not fully jabbed.

Artmotion Asia

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