In an effort to attract more travelers as peak season draws near, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters following a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that travelers from Taiwan and India will be permitted to enter Thailand without a visa between November 10 and May 10 of this year.
China was Thailand’s main pre-pandemic tourism market, accounting for 11 million of the country’s record 39 million arrivals in 2019. In September, the country eliminated its visa requirements for Chinese visitors.
The newest government statistics shows that from January to October 29, 22 million tourists visited Thailand, bringing in 927.5 billion baht (US$25.67 billion).
According to government spokesman Chai Wacharonke, “Arrivals from India and Taiwan can enter Thailand for 30 days.”
With over 1.2 million visitors thus far this year, India has ranked as Thailand’s fourth-largest source market for tourists, behind only Malaysia, China, and South Korea.
India’s inbound travel industry appeared to be expanding as more airlines and lodging companies focused on that sector.
Thailand hopes to welcome roughly 28 million tourists this year, with the hope that the travel industry would be able to counterbalance the country’s dismal exports, which have limited economic growth.
The Prime Minister and Finance Minister Srettha Thavisin’s proposal to permanently grant visa-free access to mainland Chinese tourists has raised hopes among the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) that visitors from Taiwan and India would be the next in line for visa waivers.
According to Mr. Srettha, the Chinese travelers’ temporary visa exemption, which is set to expire on February 29, may be extended permanently.
On October 19, in Beijing, where he was leading a Thai delegation to the Belt and Road Forum, he made this statement during the signing of a letter of intent between the TAT and eight Chinese enterprises.
According to the most recent data from the TAT, travelers from Malaysia led the list this year with almost 3 million visits, followed by Chinese tourists, who made up the largest group of visitors to Thailand prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, with 2.65 million as of October 15.
According to a report earlier this month by the tourism bureau, Thailand anticipates that 4 million to 4.4 million Chinese visitors will visit the country in 2023.