Thailand may ease visa rules for Indian & Chinese visitors

New Thai PM seeks to raise tourism revenues to USD 100 bn in 2024
/ New Delhi
Thailand may ease visa rules for Indian & Chinese visitors

Currently, travellers from India are required to pay THB 2,000 (USD 57) for a 15-day visa on arrival

With the objective to raise Thailand’s tourism revenues to USD 100 billion in 2024, the new government in Thailand is considering easing visa rules for Chinese and Indian visitors.
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Thailand is likely to ease visa rules to attract a greater number of travellers from China and India and also allow longer stays for visitors from all nations.

According to news agency reports, new Prime Minister of Thailand, Srettha Thavisin, has set a target of boosting the country’s tourism revenue to USD 100 billion in 2024 and the easing of visa rules and the expected resultant growth in tourist arrivals will be crucial in meeting this target.

Srettha Thavisin

Currently, the Chinese tourists face a costly and cumbersome visa application process, which has been a drag on the tally this year, the Prime Minister was quoted by agencies as saying.

Travellers from India are required to pay THB 2,000 (USD 57) for a 15-day visa on arrival. Thavisin reportedly has said that he wants the list of visa-exempt countries to be increased. He also wants to expand stay limits for most international travellers, with caps of 15 or 30 days for many nationalities.

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister held discussions on the available options with executives of Airports of Thailand Pcl and several airlines, with the near-term aim of attracting more foreigners in the fourth quarter.

Thaneth Tantipiriyakij

The PM tweeted that the airport operator has agreed to reduce bottlenecks to augment flight capacity by 20 pc and find ways to speed up immigration clearances.

He added that the new government is seeking to lift revenue from foreign tourists to THB 3.3 trillion next year, with the travel industry offering the best short-term economic stimulus.

As per Bank of Thailand data, tourism accounts for about 12 pc of gross domestic product and nearly a fifth of jobs. Thaneth Tantipiriyakij, president of the Phuket Tourism Association, said scrapping the application fee would be ideal rather than giving visa exemptions to visitors from China and India.

‘‘Visa fee exemptions are a quick win for tourism,’’ says Thaneth, adding that international visitors to Phuket through July were about 70 pc of pre-pandemic totals, but the Chinese arrival recovery rate was only 30 pc.

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