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Starting from September 25, 2023, the Kingdom of Thailand will implement a policy of visa exemption for tourists originating from the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Starting from September 25, 2023, the Kingdom of Thailand will implement a policy of visa exemption for tourists originating from the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The five-month stimulus visa policy, which will remain in effect until 29 February 2024, has been implemented with the objective of assisting in the achievement of this year’s tourism income target of 2.38 trillion Baht. The temporary tourist visa exemption scheme has been announced by the Royal Thai Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin. This scheme will be applicable to passport holders from the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Kazakhstan, and will be in effect from 25 September 2023 to 29 February 2024. The primary objective of this initiative is to meet the tourism revenue target of 2.38 trillion Baht for the current year.

During the designated five-month period, individuals of Chinese and Kazakhstani nationality will be eligible for a temporary visa exemption in Thailand. This exemption will allow them to stay in the country for a duration of 30 days, specifically for the purpose of tourism.

According to Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, an official from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the stimulus visa plan is a component of the government’s Quick-win initiatives, which were declared on September 11, 2023. The objective of these measures is to accomplish long-term goals and enhance the Thai economy by promoting travel and tourism. This initiative is expected to enhance the influx of tourists from China, a significant source market for Thailand’s tourism industry, as well as from Kazakhstan, a developing market. This effect is particularly anticipated during the upcoming peak tourist season. In conclusion, the revival of Thai tourism will ultimately contribute to the achievement of the income objective established for the current fiscal year.

During the designated time of visa exemption lasting five months, it is anticipated that Thailand will receive a projected number of Chinese tourists ranging from 1,912,000 to 2,888,500. This represents a year-on-year growth rate of approximately 41-62%. Consequently, the tourism sector is predicted to produce a revenue of approximately 92.58-140 billion Baht. According to the projections made by Thailand, there is an anticipated influx of 129,485 tourists from Kazakhstan. This figure represents a substantial growth of 49.73% compared to the same period in the previous year. Additionally, it is estimated that this surge in tourist arrivals would generate a revenue of 7.93 billion Baht for Thailand.

According to Thapanee Kiatphaibool, the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the implementation of the “ease of travelling” strategy will result in time and cost savings for tourists in terms of visa application and fees. This, in turn, is expected to facilitate the decision-making process for potential travelers considering a visit to Thailand. The implementation of the visa exemption plan in Thailand is projected to result in the arrival of around 4.04-4.4 million Chinese tourists by the year 2023. This influx of tourists is expected to contribute to the attainment of the projected revenue objective of 257,500 million Baht.

Between the dates of 1 January and 10 September 2023, Thailand documented a total of 2,284,281 visitors originating from China, establishing China as the second most prominent contributor to the country’s tourism industry, surpassed only by Malaysia. In the absence of the visa exemption scheme, it is projected that Thailand would receive around 3,470,430 Chinese tourists in the year 2023, which accounts for approximately 31% of the total number of Chinese visitors recorded in 2019. This influx of tourists is predicted to create a revenue of approximately 174,358 million Baht for the country.

The implementation of the stimulus visa scheme coincides with the commencement of the Golden Week, a significant holiday period in China, spanning from 1st to 8th October 2023. During the weeklong holiday in China, various airlines have declared their preparedness to conduct charter flights, augment flight frequencies, and establish additional routes connecting cities in China and Thailand. These routes include Chengdu – Samui, Beijing – Chiang Mai, Guangzhou – Chiang Mai, Shanghai – Chiang Mai, Shanghai – Phuket, Guangzhou – Phuket, and Kunming – Hat Yai.

According to Thapanee, it is anticipated that the visa exemption scheme will contribute to a projected influx of 180,000 tourists from Kazakhstan to Thailand by the conclusion of the current year. Between the dates of January 1st and September 10th, 2023, Thailand experienced an unprecedented influx of 108,636 tourists originating from Kazakhstan. Phuket is a highly preferred travel location among travelers from Kazakhstan.

The anticipated extension of the visa exemption program to Chinese and Kazakhstani travelers is projected to contribute to the revitalization of Thai tourism, aiding in the achievement of the current year’s objective of attracting 25-30 million tourists and generating 2.38 trillion Baht in income.

The policy is anticipated to contribute to the expansion of tourism till 2024, aligning with the government’s strategic focus on utilizing tourism as a pivotal driver of the Thai economy and positioning Thailand as the preferred choice for global travelers.

Source- Travel daily

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