Destinations

Thailand eyes compulsory travel insurance for tourists

Thai authorities are seeking to debut a new compulsory travel insurance for foreign visitors.

The new scheme, which aims to bolster tourist confidence, will see tourists charged a 20-baht (AUD$1) premium at immigration offices in airports, the Bangkok Post reported.

The insurance would cover travellers for 30 days and will offer up to 1 million baht (AUD$46,846) in case of death.

Before it goes ahead, the scheme will need approval from the Tourism and Sports Ministry (TASM) in order to be presented before the cabinet.

According to the Bangkok Post, the insurance is in response to a string of tragedies, including last year’s boat accident off Phuket which killed 47 Chinese tourists.

TASM has forecast the number of foreign tourists to climb to 40 million, with 18 per cent of GDP already coming from tourism dollars.

The Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC) has also launched a pilot project in Nakhon Nayok province whereby tour operators provide insurance to customers and tour guides.

“We’ve encouraged local tour operators to take out insurance for their customers, to provide them protection in case of accidents or death,” Suthiphon Thaveechaiyagarn, secretary-general told the Bankok Post.

Travel Weekly has contacted the Tourism Authority of Thailand for comment but is yet to receive a response.

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