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Thailand's proposed $15 tax on foreign tourists stirs debate

Industry warns added fee could drive away visitors and hinder recovery

A plane carrying foreign tourists arrives in Phuket after the island opened to overseas visitors on July 1.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Thailand's plan to impose a 500 baht ($15) tax on each incoming international visitor -- possibly from 2022 -- has the tourism industry concerned about possibly reducing the number of tourists as the country prepares to further reopen its borders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The fee to be implemented is considerably high for those visiting Thailand, where hotel rooms can be had for as little as 1,000 baht," Thai Hotels Association president Marisa Sukosol Nunbhakdi said in a recent interview with Nikkei Asia. "The 500 baht will affect potential visitors' decisions."

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