Thailand to collect 400-baht national park entrance fee from foreign visitors

Bangkok – The Tourism Ministry has reached an agreement to keep the 400 baht entrance fee unchanged to all national parks for adult foreign visitors and 200 baht for foreign children.

Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul and other high ranking officials from various state offices and representatives of the private sector in Krabi Province, recently held an executive meeting to discuss a resolution from the advisory committee on national parks entrance fee and tourist safety, National News Bureau of Thailand reported.

Mrs. Kobkarn said that the 400 baht entrance fee will remain unchanged, but an updated, standard system for the safety of tourists and the efficient administration of all parks in the country should be introduced.

Kobkarn also added that the new system will help control the number of tourist boats and the number of tourists visiting national parks which will help ensure and improve the quality of tourism in the country.

A week ago as reported by Thai PBS, about 500 tourist boat operators staged a protest at Hat Nopparattara- Mu Ko Phi Phi national park to demand a 50 percent cut of entry fee for foreign tourists, claiming that the fee is too high and tends to discourage foreign tourists from visiting the park.

But Mr Tunya Netithammakul, director-general of Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plants Conservation, dismissed the claim of boat operators that the number of tourists visiting Phi Phi Islands has steadily dropped because of the high entrance fee.

The current entry fee into national parks for foreign tourists has remained unchanged since 2006, Mr Tunya said. Proceeds from the entrance fee are allocated to develop facilities in the parks for the benefit of tourists, he added.

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