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Thailand could charge tourists for insurance

As is often said, insurance for accident risks or health problems is essential when travelling, especially in Thailand. It is very possible that the country may require insurance upon arrival.

The road accident rate is huge

Thailand has the second highest mortality rate in the world, with 36.2 deaths per 100,000 population. There are reportedly more than 24,000 deaths, or 66 deaths per day. While 49% of road deaths are among vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists), this percentage is 83% in Thailand, including 73% among motorcyclists. In addition, Thailand is losing 3 to 5% of its GDP due to road accidents.

100 bahts on arrival

Foreign tourists visiting Thailand may soon pay 100 baht (less than 3 euros) upon arrival. These fees would be collected from each traveller and should be used to cover their stay in Thailand.

A measure that would take effect in six months

Chote Trachu, Permanent Secretary for Tourism, said the Ministry was in talks with the University of Naresuan and the Insurance Office for a more in-depth study of this tax. The objective is to find the most appropriate solution while having a minimal impact on tourism in the country.

Thailand already covers some expenses

The Minister of Tourism, Weerasak Kowsurat, said about the latest proposal that the government was spending up to 300 million baht (8 million euros) on health care and even on transporting foreign visitors’ bodies.

He added: « Every year, the State must bear the cost of emergency vehicles, medical care and the transport of body remains. »

What about tourists who have taken out insurance before departure?

Many travel agencies systematically offer complementary insurance to their customers. Chote Trachu has not yet indicated the Ministry’s position on this subject.