Thailand introduces visa-free entry for Indian and Taiwanese tourists

Foreign tourists arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport. File photo

The Thai government has announced a visa waiver for tourists from India and Taiwan starting November 10, extending through to May 10 next year.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin shared the news with the media following a cabinet meeting held Tuesday (Oct 31).

Last month, Thailand had temporarily lifted visa requirements for travelers from China and Kazakhstan, a program that ran for five months and concluded at the end of February.

So far this year, Thailand has welcomed over 20 million international visitors, recovering more than half of its pre-Covid tourism traffic, which nearly touched 40 million.

The country is optimistic, projecting tourist arrivals to reach up to 28 million by the close of the year.

Statistics from the Tourism Authority of Thailand indicate that tourists from Malaysia have dominated the influx this year, surpassing 3 million. Chinese tourists, who once held the record as the largest group of visitors to Thailand, have also made a significant comeback, with numbers reaching 2.65 million as of October 15.

The tourism agency anticipates that by the end of 2023, the number of Chinese visitors might surge to between 4 and 4.4 million.

Meanwhile, Indian tourists, currently Thailand’s fourth-largest source of tourism, have also shown substantial presence with approximately 1.2 million arrivals so far, ranking after Malaysia, China, and South Korea.

“Travelers from India and Taiwan will be granted a 30-day stay upon their arrival in Thailand,” announced spokesperson Chai Wacharonke, highlighting the ease and accessibility this visa waiver brings to potential tourists from these regions.