Thailand’s Finance Ministry and Tourism and Sports Ministry are considering offering travel insurance to foreign tourists. According to the Bangkok Post, the budget to fund a travel insurance scheme may come from the Thailand Tourism Promotion Fund or the Foreign Ministry’s budget for immigration checks, and the central budget may be used to support any shortfall, said Fiscal Policy Office Director-General Krisada Chinavicharana.
The Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) has also floated the idea of a new tax break for domestic tourists in the form of deductions of domestic travel expenses from taxable income, the Director-General said. The cabinet already approved last April the renewal of stimulus measures for the tourism industry that include a 15,000 Baht tax break on domestic tour packages and hotel accommodation for individual taxpayers, as well as for businesses and private individuals organising training programs.
Meanwhile, the government has just approved a new measure which could have some negative effects. According to the Bangkok Post, foreign visitors from 19 countries and territories will be required to pay a THB 2,000 (US$56.60) fee for visas on arrival, twice as much as the current rate of THB 1,000. The new requirement will come to effect on September 27 according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Among the 19 countries required to get a visa on arrival are EU nations such as Andorra, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania, and important markets such as China, India and Taiwan.