Tax incentives pondered to promote domestic tourism

The Ministry of Finance is pondering tax incentives to promote domestic tourism by Thais.

A well-informed source said Tuesday that the Finance Ministry was considering tax deduction of up to 30,000 baht per head for Thais who travel in secondary cities in the country and up to 50,000 baht per head for travelling during three-month period of off-season tourism.

The tax incentives will be deducted from taxable income of the taxpayers so that they pay less tax, said the source, adding that the measure is expected to come into effect in the first quarter of next year.

The Finance Ministry’s initiative has the backing of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports which deems the initiative will help promote domestic tourism among Thais.

Domestic tourism among Thais is still regarded as low with each Thai making just 1.5 trips on average each year despite the fact that tourism is a major revenue maker for Thailand.

During the first nine months of this year, domestic tourism expanded by 6.32 percent with 109 million man trips, generating 695 billion baht in revenue.

The source said that the set target of 35.4 million foreign tourists visiting Thailand this year would be met, with 2.7 trillion baht in revenues to be generated from foreign tourist arrivals.

For the first 10 months of this year, a total of 28.8 million foreign tourists visited Thailand, an increase of 6.69 percent from the same period last year. Total revenues were estimated at 1.4 trillion baht.