Siam Paragon Mass Shooting Propels Thailand’s Proposed 300 Baht Tourism Fee To Get Fast-Tracked

Oct 11, 2023

News

Officials have issued a statement that Thailand is bent on restoring the confidence of tourists in the tourism sector. The statement follows closely on the heels of a mass shooting at a luxury mall. Two foreigners have been killed, and it has made hopes of attracting overseas visitors a distant dream.

On Tuesday, the police arrested a 14-year-old boy suspected of having unleashed a barrage of gunfire at the Siam Paragon Mall. The location being the center of Bangkok’s commercial zone has raised all too many eyebrows. The incident caused the death of two women- one of them from China and the other from Myanmar, injuring five people.

Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Thapanee Kiatphaibool, has said that the agencies have vowed to do their best to restore confidence. “We need to improve security in all areas for Thai and foreign tourists,” she said without explaining any necessary steps being taken.

Somsong Sachaphimukh, Vice President of the Tourism Council of Thailand industry group, has remarked, “This will impact tourism confidence and will affect our reputation. In the past, there were complaints about safety from China but this was something unthinkable.”

Chinese tourists have accounted for 11 million of the 39.9 million foreign visitors in Thailand in 2019. Tourism so far has been pretty slow, and it has prompted the government to decide on the visa waiver ahead of the peak season.

Thai Examiner issued a report on the fee situation so far. The visa waiver will be collected from foreign travelers to provide “emergency medical health insurance cover and other benefits for 30 days from the point of entry.”

The report explained that the fee needs “to be paid on arrival at kiosks at Immigration Bureau points of entry, including at airports after landing. The fee will also be delivered via a website or smartphone app.” It further added that “The tourism fee is supported broadly by the tourism industry as its tourist insurance fund is considered an essential step forward given the repeated stories of tragedies, accidents, and personal disasters which occur every year.”

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Sarmind is a Writer and an aspiring Editor who has experience in various short and long-form niches. Her academic pursuits intensely mold her industry background in content creation. She holds a Master's degree in Literature, and when not writing for professional purposes, she can be found re-reading old classics of Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. She is super fond of cats and enjoys hours of doom-scrolling through memes on social media while cuddled up with a cup of desi chai. She likes to think she is an intellectual badass (colloquial: nerdy bore), and now all she needs is a sewing kit to complete the look!

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