Thailand is likely to ease visa rules for Chinese and Indian travelers and allow longer stays for visitors from all nations as new Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin looks for ways to boost tourism revenue to nearly $100 billion next year.
Chinese — the largest group of visitors before the pandemic — face a costly and cumbersome visa-application process, which has been a drag on the tally this year, according to the premier.
Thaneth Tantipiriyakij, president of the Phuket Tourism Association, said scrapping the application fee would be ideal than giving visa exemptions to visitors from China and India. That message was conveyed to the prime minister during a weekend meeting in the island province that included travel-sector leaders.
“Visa fee exemptions are a ‘quick win’ for tourism,” said Thaneth, adding that international visitors to Phuket through July were about 70% of pre-pandemic totals, but the “Chinese arrivals recovery rate is only 30%.”
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