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Thailand Boosts Tourism with Tax Cuts and Extended Hours

Thailand has rolled out a new initiative to stimulate tourism by approving tax cuts on both alcoholic beverages and entertainment venues. The country’s cabinet has given the green light to significant reductions, including lowering wine taxes from 10% to 5% and completely eliminating taxes on spirits, which were previously set at 10%. Additionally, the excise tax imposed on entertainment venues is set to be halved, dropping from 10% to 5%. These tax adjustments are slated to remain in effect until the end of the current year, as confirmed by government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke.

This move follows Thailand’s recent decision to extend the operating hours of entertainment venues, allowing them to remain open until 4 AM. The extended hours are a strategic move to cater to night owls and entice more tourists to visit the country.

Notably, Thailand had earlier announced a visa waiver for travelers from India and Taiwan, effective from November 2023 until May 2024. During this period, tourists from these regions can enjoy a stay in Thailand for up to 30 days. India has emerged as the fourth-largest source of tourism for Thailand, with approximately 1.2 million arrivals this year, trailing behind Malaysia, China, and South Korea.

Government data reveals that, from January to October 29, 2023, Thailand welcomed a total of 22 million visitors, contributing 927.5 billion baht (around $25.67 billion) to the country’s economy. The visa waiver for Indian and Taiwanese travelers aligns with Thailand’s broader strategy to attract more tourists and revitalize its crucial tourism sector.

The decision to extend the operating hours of entertainment venues and implement tax cuts on alcoholic beverages and entertainment venues is part of a series of measures aimed at boosting foreign arrivals. These initiatives follow the waiver of visa requirements for Chinese visitors in September, a move targeting one of Southeast Asia’s significant sources of tourists and reflecting the government’s commitment to revitalizing the tourism industry, a key driver of the economy.

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