Thailand has recently announced the introduction of an entry fee for international tourists starting from next June. The fee, amounting to 300 baht (about 8 euros), will be charged as an extra to the flight price for those arriving in the country by air. Instead, those arriving by bus, train or ship will have to pay 150 baht (4 euros) in addition to the ticket price for their mode of transport.
According to the Thai Ministry of Tourism, the revenue generated from the fee will be used to finance the implementation of sustainable strategies in managing local resources and to cover health insurance for tourists who cannot afford it. This is because the Thai government has often had to fund the medical care of uninsured tourists.
The fee will only be required of people who are staying in the country and will not be charged to children under the age of two, those transiting through Thailand, or those traveling with a diplomatic passport or work permit.
Thailand is not the only tourist destination to introduce an entry fee. New Zealand began requiring a 35 NZD (about 20 euros) entry fee in 2019, while Japan introduced the "sayonara tax," a 1000 yen (7 euros) contribution to be paid before leaving the country.
This trend of introducing entry fees for tourists is becoming increasingly common, especially with mass tourism on the rise. Many states, especially in Europe, collect the fee through lodging facilities or booking agencies and use the revenue to improve services. However, this year many destinations are raising the price to cope with inflation and the global economic crisis.
In conclusion, while many tourist destinations are introducing an entry fee, Thailand has stated that the goal of the fee is to promote sustainable tourism and ensure the safety of tourists. It will be interesting to see how this fee will impact tourism in the region and whether other destinations will follow suit.
Here are the new tourist destinations that plan to introduce an entry fee starting from 2023.
Spain, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, will introduce new tourist taxes from 2023. One of the destinations that will require an extra fee is Valencia, where a contribution ranging from 0.50 to 2 € per night will be imposed, depending on the type of accommodation. The tax will be collected directly by the hotel, B&B, or whoever has rented the apartment or room. It's important to note that the tax will be applied throughout the Valencia region, including the famous tourist spots of Alicante, Benidorm, and Costa Blanca.
Barcelona, one of Spain's most visited cities, has also decided to increase the tourist tax for visitors to the city. Currently, visitors pay 4 € per night to rent accommodation in the city, but this contribution will increase to 5 € over the course of the year. It's important to emphasize that the tourist tax is limited to a maximum of seven nights, so the amount paid for staying a week or a whole month will be the same. In general, with tourism constantly increasing, the introduction of taxes like these will become more common around the world. However, many destinations use the revenue generated by taxes to improve the services offered to tourists.
Italy is one of the European countries that has long introduced a tourist tax, and Venice is no exception. However, this year the lagoon city has decided to go further, trying to contain the influx of tourists during the high season by introducing an entrance fee.
Even if you decide to spend only a day in the city, without an overnight stay, you will still have to pay a contribution that varies depending on the season and visitor traffic. During the low season, the tax will be around 3 €, while in summer and during holidays it could go up to 10 €.
Although the start date for the tax implementation has not been announced yet, it is likely that the experimentation will begin already this summer. In this way, the city hopes to reduce the flow of tourists during the busiest periods, while ensuring greater funding for the maintenance and management of local resources.
However, it is not only Venice adopting this policy. Other tourist destinations in Italy are also considering the introduction of a tourist tax or an entrance fee, such as Florence and Rome, which are discussing the idea of imposing a fee on visits to their historic and cultural sites.
Starting from November, non-EU visitors and those requiring a special visa to enter the European Union will need to obtain a travel authorization through ETIAS, which stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System. This system functions as an electronic visa waiver and is essentially the European version of ESTA, the visa required for visiting the United States. ETIAS will be required for travelers coming from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other similar countries. The cost for ETIAS will be approximately 7 € per person
All these taxes seem like small amounts compared to what is required in Bhutan. The country has revised its tourism model introduced in September 2022 and decided to replace the daily fee of 250 €, which included all services, with a package in line with the Sustainable Development Fee of 200 $, which will no longer include meals, accommodation, transportation, or any other services previously included in the all-inclusive package.
Credit lonely planet italia