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Thailand eases visa requirements for Chinese tourists

FILE PHOTO: Tasty Thailand

As mooted by immigration officials last month, visa requirements for Chinese travellers to Thailand will now relaxed and the processing time accelerated, according to a Bangkok Post report today. The government is making the changes in a bid to make travel to Thailand easier for Chinese tourists.

Deputy government spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek says the Chinese made up the largest proportion of foreign travellers last week, with 95,581 arriving in the kingdom. This number was followed by 73,810 from Malaysia, 37,754 visitors from South Korea, 27,707 from India, and 25,717 Vietnamese.

In Phuket, during July, Chinese were the most numerous visitors (74,766), Russians (35,521) Australians (24,761), Indians (17,224) and Hong Kong visitors (13,817).

Chinese visitors are allowed to get visa-on-arrival, unlike many western countries which have a visa exemption program.

For Chinese travellers, the new visa application process requires them to submit 6 documents with their application: passport, 3 photos, a copy of the plane ticket, details of accommodation in Thailand, confirmation of their permanent residence and financial statements.

According to Rachada, the processing time is being halved, from 14 working days to just 7. Furthermore, the tourism ministry is syncing its tourist visa application system with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ system, to speed up the processing of all foreign arrivals.

She adds that during the recent long holiday between July 31 and August 6, Thailand welcomed an average of 80,000 foreign visitors a day. Since the beginning of 2023, the total number of foreign visitors to the kingdom has reached 16 million, with the top 5 countries being Malaysia, China, South Korea, India, and Russia.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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