Public Health Minister Pradit Sintavanarong said yesterday that related agencies were discussing the plan to charge tourists a separate fee for entering the country - possibly Bt500 (S$20) for a three- to 30-day stay and Bt30 for less than three days. He said once a conclusion is drawn, it will be proposed to the Cabinet.
Since Thailand gets up to 23 million visitors a year, the country could earn as much as Bt10 billion from the extra fee, he said. This money could be sent to the Finance Ministry and a specially assigned committee could allocate it to related agencies including the Public Health Ministry, which spends up to Bt300 million for tourists' healthcare per year. He said if his ministry was given this money, it could allocate up to Bt300,000 per head in life-and-death emergency cases as well as buy more medical tools and supplies.