Last October the Thai cabinet decided to increase the length of the visa waiver for tourists who arrive from 64 countries from 30 days to 45. The extension was going to last until March 31, 2023. Here we are, 10 days out, and there’s been nothing, not even a whisper, of an announcement to keep the 45 day stay continuing beyond the end of March.
Whilst the Tourism and Sports Minister, as well as the TAT Governor, have been talking up an extension of the program beyond March 31, there has been no announcements, or even discussion, in the media about the situation.
Here’s the 64 countries that can currently arrive in Thailand and get a 45 day visa waiver…
As it stands, today, the 45 day visa exemption/waiver will fall back to 30 days from April 1. For anyone arriving beyond the end of March, that includes you. For people who are able to get a visa-on-arrival, that stay was also extended in October last year from 15 to 30 days. That will also fall back to 15 days post March 31.
Meanwhile, the Thai government has set its sights on welcoming 6 million tourists from Europe this year, equivalent to around 80% of pre-pandemic levels from the EU countries. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, expressed confidence in Thailand’s ability to remain the top destination in Asia for European markets while attending ITB Berlin 2023, one of the largest travel fairs in Europe.
If the prediction comes true, Thailand would expect to generate more than 420 billion baht (US$12 billion) in tourism revenues from the European market this year.
In order to attract long-haul European travellers, Thailand has been exploring various strategies, including the extension of the 45 day visa exemption policy (which applies to all European countries). Thanks to this open visa policy, and the extension from 30 to 45 days in October last year, Thailand was able to receive over 11 million foreign visitors for the total of 2022.
This year, the Thai government is aiming to welcome 25 million foreign visitors to the country. This will made possible by the ongoing surge of Russian arrivals and the swift recovery of visitors from China. Russia, India and China are currently the three most numerous arrivals in Thailand.