The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Ms Sudawan Wang-Suphakitkosol, on Thursday, gave a commitment that the government’s incoming tourist fee scheme, which will provide automatic insurance to all tourists entering the country for a 30 day period after their arrival at immigration checkpoints would be implemented by the current government.

Tourism fee or levy is a long-running story of a proposal that has managed to elude implementation by successive governments over the last two decades. …

The plan to have this fee collected by airlines transporting incoming passengers was reportedly met with behind-the-scenes pushback from the airline industry and is also thought to have damaged relations and confidence between the government by powerful large carriers who make decisions that impact Thailand’s international flight connectivity.

The new system for the proposed tourism fee will impose a duty on tourists to pay the fee themselves. 

The fee will be paid on arrival via a website, an app or kiosks at the country’s international airports, land borders and checkpoints. 

The tourism fee is supported broadly by the tourism industry as its tourist insurance fund is considered an essential step forward given the repeated stories of tragedies, accidents, and personal disasters which occur every year.

Such stories have generated thousands of news reports which have reached hundreds of millions of foreign tourists and have painted a picture of Thailand as a dangerous destination. 

This would be avoided with a common tourism insurance fund.

I don’t think I’d agree with the conclusion as far as the result of implementing the tourism fee would be more positive publicity. Do you believe for a moment just because there is some sort of mediocre health coverage, the press would report more favorably about tragedies that unfold in Thailand?

In this particular case, people died in a mass shooting at one of the country’s most prestigious shopping malls. I think the matter of insurance coverage is secondary here and not initially on anyone’s mind.

The idea of the new Tourism Minister to let people prepay the fee online and then simply present receipts with a QR code is something I have suggested in the past. Setting up kiosks or cash counters as the only option to pay would be a complete disaster considering the mess that Bangkok Airport already is during peak arrival times.

The last time this was publicly discussed was back in June:

Thailand’s 300 Baht Tourism Fee Postponed Again, Will They Ever Get It Together?

The notion that the cash would be exclusively used to provide coverage for foreign tourists is a joke. I’m 100% convinced that the hospitals will still try to rip people off and not provide treatment for free. And I can already promise our readers that should this fee be rolled out at some point, I’ll go to a designated hospital and test this.


The 300 Baht Tourism tax that was supposed to be charged from June 2023 for all foreign arrivals in Thailand has once again been postponed until a new government is in place. As I predicted, I can’t imagine a new progressive government with practical thinking being on board with making the airport into a mess by collecting cash or facilitating card payments, adding a minute or more to each person’s processing.

The new tourism minister has now floated the idea of fast-tracking the implementation of the fee and also offering electronic payment methods so that no extra steps are required upon arrival that would slow down the entire flow.

I think this is a good and fair idea IF they have to introduce this fee. I’m still skeptical that the funds are being properly used to the benefit of tourism, let alone provide useful health coverage for tourists. Very curious how this will turn out, expect a detailed report of my experiences at Bangkok hospitals!