Airport bosses and other relevant bodies in Thailand are preparing to welcome tourists from India and Taiwan, who can arrive visa-free from tomorrow. Temporary visa-free entry is an initiative extended by PM Srettha Thavisin’s administration in a bid to boost tourism and by extension, the economy. Previously they had to pre-apply for a 15 day visa or get a visa-on-arrival in the airport.
The scheme applies not only to nationals of India and Taiwan, but also to tourists arriving from China and Kazakhstan. For the Taiwanese and Indians, visa-free entry for a 30-day stay takes effect tomorrow and will run until May, while the policy is already in effect for Chinese and Kazakh tourists and will run until February 29.
But, so far, forward bookings have not indicated any noticeable uptick in either flight arrival numbers or bookings from the two countries.
The Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit says he has instructed state agencies to ensure easy and safe travel for foreign tourists. He adds that Airports of Thailand has been told to work with immigration bosses to ensure there is no overcrowding at airports.
“The command centre has been set up to coordinate efforts of all airport service providers in ensuring smooth travel for visitors, especially at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports.”
The minister has also asked other transport bodies, such as rail, bus services, and marine authorities, to provide efficient services and ensure safe travel for tourists.
Around 1.55 million Indian tourists, and 700,000 Taiwanese, are expected to visit Thailand this year. Data from the tourism ministry shows that between October 30 and November 5, a total of 557,554 foreign travellers arrived in the kingdom. Most of those were Malaysian, with 73,297, followed by the Chinese and then the Russians.
Since the start of the year, Thailand has welcomed over 22.61 foreign visitors, which has generated tourism revenue of around 954.23 billion baht.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post