I’ll Drink to That! Taxes on Alcohol Slashed in Thailand to Further Boost Tourism

A line-up of bars in Patong, Phuket Island | Image Credit: Agoda
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Thailand continues to pull out all the stops to maintain its lead as the region’s biggest tourism market.

Thailand is not just consistently among the most-favoured tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, as gauged by international arrivals, it’s also one of the entire world’s most popular countries to visit. (Bangkok on its own ranks as the number-one most-visited city on Earth, with Phuket and Pattaya ranked 14th and 15th, respectively.)

Friendly people, tropical weather, globally renowned cuisine, loads to see and do, affordable prices, and everything from big cities to idyllic islands straight out of a postcard, there can be no question that Thailand’s tourism assets are genuinely formidable.

But not content to let their myriad wonders do all the heavy lifting, Thai officials continually look for ways to make their country even more appealing, from relaxed visa rules for everyone and entry waivers for targeted countries to using tourism taxes to fund insurance policies for visitors. From a tourism perspective, it’s clear that Thailand just gets it. (Travel enthusiasts will also recall that Thailand was the first to create and market a popular travel bubble during the pandemic.)

Now they’ve taken another step and slashed taxes on both alcoholic beverages and entertainment outlets in a bid to stimulate even more tourist visits.

Nightlife in Thailand – seen here in Pattaya – is about to get just a little less expensive | Image Credit: Travel Triangle


Thailand’s cabinet has approved a sweeping tax cut on alcoholic beverages and entertainment venues in a bid to further boost tourism, a government spokesperson said on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.

How dramatic are these cuts? Taxes on wine will be cut in half, dropping from 10% to 5%, and on spirits from 10% to zero. Additionally, excise tax on entertainment venues will also be halved from 10% to 5%.

The tax measures will expire at the end of this year, he said, noting that the expectation is the increase in tourism receipts will offset the reduced tax income. Clever observers have opined that if the measure is successful, it could well be extended beyond the end of 2024.

The latest ‘good times’ announcement comes after Thai authorities in November approved extended opening hours for entertainment venues by two hours to 4am for nighttime revellers and tourists.

Bangla Road in Patong Beach is famed for its bars and clubs | Image Credit: TripSavvy

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