A top airline executive is urging the Thai government to put off further the proposed Thailand Tourism Fee (TTF) which was postponed from August to later in the year. The levy which is to be collected by airlines flying into Thailand from passengers was put on hold after a top Tourism Ministry official said it was not clear yet how it would apply to visitors arriving by sea and by land.
Tony Fernandes acting Chief Executive Officer of Thai Air Asia X has called on the government not to go ahead with the proposed ฿300 tourism levy in the short term as the kingdom’s foreign tourism industry is beginning to gain momentum and could be sensitive to any changes at this time.
Thailand is understood to have welcomed 4.3 million visitors in the opening eight months of the year although the kingdom still posted a substantial $4.1 billion current account deficit for July 2022 as its economy, like others in the world, labours under elevated energy costs and reduced export growth as national economies reel from the disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine, higher interest rates and reduced demand.
The new levy known as the Thailand Tourism Fee (TTF), has been in the pipeline, in its current format, since 2019 and follows earlier attempts to introduce such a fee over previous decades.
The tourism fee was supposed to come into effect in August but the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, weeks before, announced that it was being postponed until later in the year.
Mongkon Wimonrat, the permanent secretary at the ministry, cited administrative concerns in July for the ongoing hiatus over the introduction of the measure.