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Thailand to expand travel free access

thailand visa pattaya one feb 16 2024

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced on Friday that the government plans to extend visa-free travel to citizens of additional countries. Thailand recently waived visas for citizens of China and India to stimulate tourism, a vital contributor to the economy of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

During a meeting at Government House with David Hurley, the Governor-General of Australia, Prime Minister Srettha agreed to consider a proposal for a mutual visa exemption scheme to facilitate travel and business activities between the people of both nations.

Additionally, the government is aiming for visa-free travel agreements with the Schengen-visa states of Europe, as stated by Mr. Srettha on Monday. Last year, Thailand received approximately 28 million foreign tourists, generating 1.2 trillion baht in revenue, which fell short of the nearly 40 million arrivals and 1.9 trillion baht in revenue achieved in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic, as reported by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) noted that Malaysians constituted the largest group of visitors to Thailand, with approximately 4.5 million visitors last year, while Chinese tourists formed the second-largest group with around 3.51 million visitors.

By February 1st of this year, Chinese travelers amounted to more than 533,000, followed by arrivals from Malaysia at more than 337,000 and South Korea at more than 229,000. In 2019, the Chinese comprised the largest group of visitors with about 11 million.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports is confident that the country can attract 35 million foreign visitors this year, following the arrival of 3 million visitors in January.


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