Inbound duty-free shops to be closed

Duty-free shops at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Bangkok Post photo)
Duty-free shops at Suvarnabhumi airport. (Bangkok Post photo)

The cabinet says duty-free shops in arrivals areas of international airports will be closed to encourage more spending by visitors in domestic stores.

All three operators of inbound duty-free businesses have agreed to suspend the operations at eight international airports, a deputy government spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not say when the shops would close.

The duty-free shops are in the arrivals areas at eight international airports: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Hat Yai, U-tapao, Samui and Krabi.

According to Customs Department statistics, sales from inbound duty-free shops totalled 3.02 billion baht in 2023.

Travellers entering Thailand through international airports can generally buy goods with tax exemptions up to a total value of 20,000 baht; up to 200 cigarettes; up to 250 grammes each of cigars or tobacco and alcoholic beverages up to 1 litre.

The ministry expects the closure of inbound duty-free shops to increase spending of foreign tourists by 570 baht per person per trip.

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  • beverage: a drink of any type - เครื่องดื่ม
  • cabinet: the group of government ministers who make and approve government policy - คณะรัฐมนตรี
  • domestic: inside the country being talked about - ภายในประเทศ
  • duty-free (adj): goods from another country that you don't need to pay a tariff or tax on -
  • exemption: permission to not have to do something, such as making a payment, following a rule, etc. - ข้อยกเว้น
  • inbound: travelling towards a particular point, particularly into a city - ขาเข้า (opposite of outbound ขาออก)
  • operations: the activity or work done in an area of business or industry - ปฎิบัติการ
  • operators (noun): people or companies that run a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ
  • spokesperson: a person who speaks on behalf of a group or an organization - โฆษก
  • suspend: to stop something for a short time - หยุดชั่วคราว

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