BANGKOK: Tourist authorities were hailing a recent decision by the Airports Authority of Thailand to exempt international passengers in transit at Bangkok International Airport from a 500 baht airport service charge should they depart the terminal and return to it within 12 hours. The waiver will go into effect on October 1. Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Seree Wangpaichitr said the exemption would enable passengers with time on their hands between flights to visit surrounding areas, thereby contributing to the success of the Amazing Thailand campaign. “This is among a number of our initiatives to make Thailand a bit more attractive,” he said. The TAT plans to distribute a guidebook recommending attractions near the airport, along with tips and advice to transit passengers departing temporarily from the terminal. Among the suggested excursions will be trips to the area’s wholesale markets, shopping plazas, and nearby tourist places such as the Bang Sai Handicraft Center in Ayutthaya. International passengers seeking to have the fee waived and depart the airport will be required to notify authorities by completing a form upon their arrival.