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Visa-free entry to Thailand extended to 90 days for Russian tourists

Russian arrivals Phuket
PHOTO: Russians arriving at Phuket International Airport

The Thai government has temporarily extended the visa-free entry period from 30 days to 90 days for Russian tourists. Speaking after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, PM Srettha Thavisin has confirmed the extension period will run from November 1 until April 30.

In the past, along with many of the 68 countries in the visa-waiver program, Russian visitors were entitled to a 30 day stay on arrival. For the first 6 months of this year, Russian visitors were the most numerous arrivals to the island.

The extension, from 30 to days, is being offered in an attempt to further boost international tourism in the kingdom. The PM says his administration want to facilitate Russian visitors who’d like to “avoid the cold winter months in their home country”.

The move follows a similar accommodation for visitors from China and Kazakhstan, who have been granted visa-free entry for stays of up to 30 days from September 25 until the end of February 2024. In the past both countries had to apply for a visa before their visit or a visa-on-arrival (at a cost of 2,000 baht), before heading to the immigration desks.

During the first 9 months of this year, just over 20 million foreign visitors arrived in the kingdom. Among those, the fifth-highest number were Russians, with 994,431 having arrived between January and September. Malaysian arrivals made up the highest number of visitors, at 3,280,622, followed by the Chinese at 2,509,698, the Koreans at 1,197,763, and the Indians at 1,165,935.

Meanwhile, the PM says he plans to hold talks with the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, at the upcoming Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation meeting. The event kicked off in Beijing yesterday, October 16, and will run until October 21.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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