Thailand could make travel insurance mandatory for all tourists
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Thailand could make travel insurance mandatory for all tourists

A NEW proposal is calling for all visitors in Thailand to present their travel insurance as a compulsory procedure before entering the country.

The proposal was raised in a meeting by officials at the Tourism and Sports Ministry. Tourism Safety and Security Standards director Jaturon Phakdeewanit said visitors without travel insurance have cost Thailand at least THB3billion (US$88 million) a year for their medical treatments at state hospitals.

Many hospitals have been forced to shoulder the burden of injured tourists who cannot afford to pay their medical bills.

SEE ALSO: Freewheeling Bangkok lays path to safer, more livable city

“We need to push this through as soon as possible because the problem is becoming more serious,” Phakdeewanit said.

Bangkok Post reported the Office of the Insurance Commission will draft details on insurance policies and insurance distribution channels, including the installation of automatic vending machines at international airports and border checkpoints.

Thailand expects to welcome over 30 million tourists this year. So far, 14 million visitors have been recorded since Jan 1, contributing as much as US$20.5 billion in revenue.

It’s unclear at this point if the mandatory rule will compromise the country’s inbound visitor target.

SEE ALSO: Is Thailand buckling beneath the load of tourists?