The Thai Government has approved the extension of the visa-onarrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries until 30 April.
The move will help to promote tourism as well as enhance the kingdom’s attractiveness among foreign visitors during the high travel season, officials said. Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said the continuation of the stimulus visaon-arrival measure came at a perfect time as Thailand is set to celebrate Chinese New Year in February and the Thai New Year (Songkran) in April.
Countries eligible for the visa-onarrival fee waiver until 30 April are: Citizens of Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand for not more than 15 days. The extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver was first launched last year in a bid to boost falling tourist numbers over the peak New Year holiday season but has now been extended to the end of the Songkran festival.
In September, overall tourist arrivals rose just 2.1 percent from a year earlier, but arrivals from China fell almost 15 percent following a boat accident in July, which killed 47 Chinese tourists, making it Thailand’s worst tourist-related disaster in years. Last year, Chinese visitors made up nearly a third of the record 35.38 million arrivals in Thailand. Tourism receipts account for about 12 percent of Thailand’s economy, making it one of the most important drivers of its growth.