The Thai government is planning to impose a three dollar fee on tourists by the end of 2019 to cover their health insurance, a tourism official said.
The new measure, expected to take effect in six months, is necessary and will not adversely affect the country’s booming tourism industry, Tourism Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Chote Trachu told reporters on Friday.
Since 2017, the government has mulled making health insurance compulsory for all types of visitors, most of whom don’t have the insurance and have left Thai hospitals to shoulder an average of 9.4 million dollars a year, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Currently, only holders of the 10-year visa for nationals of 14 European and North American countries aged over 50, which requires a minimum of 3 million baht in savings, must have health insurance.
Earlier, the ministry also announced mandatory health insurance for foreign residents aged 50 years old and over seeking to apply for or renew their one-year Thai visa.
The number of tourists to the South-East Asian country has increased each year, with a record 38 million visitors in 2018 and the projected figure of 41 million this year.
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