TO DISCUSS YOUR PROJECT OR LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR SERVICES:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thailand's Ministry Of Silly Works

Category: Tourism, Posted:24 Oct 2013 | 08:05 am

Bangkok is up to it's old antics again with news that the Ministry of Public Health is considering a THB500 entrance fee for foreign visitors coming to the Kingdom.
Just the other day I was sitting with a group of Phuket hoteliers who were waxing poetically about the strong demand for the coming high season.
Enter the Public Health Minister Pradit Sintavanarong who says he has gathered support from the Ministry of Tourism and the Royal Thai Police who all share his apparent glee over the initiative that could start as early as January.
According to Khun Pradit the country currently has to pick up THB200-300 million a year for accidents by uninsured foreigners. Viewing the number, this would seem to the naked eye to be inconsequential in a country where tourism contributes between 6-7% of GPD and a double-digit number when you look at the expanded service economy.
What's obvious is the country wants the tourism income but at no cost which seems a bit lightheaded. As to the proposed mechanism the money would be collected and then redistributed by the central government, which could see an endless line of armored cars driving back to Phuket with empty loads.
We've seen the issues over the local hotel tax, which remains controversial to this day, though a portion of that has gone back to build the giant white elephant called the Phuket Gateway up near the Sarasin Bridge. Have you been there? Even the sea turtles don't bother.
As for the premise that Thailand now suddenly only wants upscale visitors, the painful process of asking business types or those here for a luxury holiday hopping in a line to pay as they enter would seem to derail the entire proposition. More airport delays cannot be a good thing for anyone.
Is there no other way to cover the few hundred million baht in question? Lax tax collection be it on income, or land and property remains the bane of a system, which cannot fuel its own growth. Though putting a big bouncer at the door of the nightclub known as Thailand will no doubt make collecting the THB500 possible.
I'm at a loss who the Public Health Ministry can impose their lopsided will on the face the country which is tourism and how the current administration can stand still and let the forces that be run seemingly amok.
As we all know an any business market sentiment is a major driving force for business and creating another silly global headline is doing far more damage then good for the industry.
Bangkok, you are you listening? Sorry I was directed to voice messaging and asked to call back later.

Other News

Read more

PHIST 2021 – Sustainable Asia RE-defined Coming 28 October

Category: Hotels, Posted:11 Oct 2021 | 09:11 am The fourth annual Asian-based sustainability-focused learning event PHIST 2021 will take place in a dynamic virtual setting on 28th October. Organized in Phuket, Thailand with speakers from across the region. PHIST (Phuket Hotels for Islands Sustaining Tourism) has established itself as a leading forum in Asia for sustainable tourism, environmental education for hotels as well […]
Read more

Lonely Planet. Ultimate Vacation Homes. More Phuket Meds

Category: Tourism, Posted:07 Oct 2021 | 21:02 pm It’s Friday and we have a trio of video insights for you. Listen to an intriguing talk with Joe Cummings who is behind the first Lonely Planet Thailand guidebooks. Hear seven short real estate talks on the latest trends. And then, how is Thanyapura looking to expand their medical footprint across Phuket. Right here. Right […]
Read more

Two Neil’s For Six Senses

Category: Hotels, Posted:03 Oct 2021 | 17:35 pm Veteran Asia-Pacific hotelier Neil Palmer has been named Chief Operating Officer of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas. Palmer is best known as a stalwart executive at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Meanwhile, Neil Jacobs continues in his role as Chief Executive Officer. Former Six Senses COO Guy Heywood has moved to boutique chain Habitas Hotels.