DNP stands by foreigner fee for Krabi park
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) yesterday rejected a call by tourism business operators to slash admission fees for foreigners to a popular park in Krabi.
Director-general Thanya Nethithammakul said the demand to halve the entrance fee to Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park in Krabi's Muang district could not be met because the current rate was calculated to cover maintenance costs.
He was speaking after about 500 tourism business operators in the three Andaman provinces of Krabi, Phangnga and Phuket rallied outside the head office of the park, demanding the cut in entrance fees for foreign tourists.
Currently foreign adult tourists are required to pay 400 baht per head while foreign children are charged 200 baht per head.
According to the tourism operators, the current rate is too high and is driving foreign tourists away.
Mr Thanya said the entrance fee has been calculated based on several factors including management and maintenance costs. The department also informed the tourism operators several months in advance of the admission fee.
The DNP chief also pointed out that if the department caved in to the demand, it would only trigger similar calls in other provinces.
Mr Thanya said foreign tourists do not have problems with the entrance fees, but tourism operators do due to fierce competition. As tourist operators increase they have to vie with each other for business.