Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by SPN Editor
Thailand has unveiled a plan to attract more tourists by waiving visa requirements for travelers from India. This initiative, set to launch next month and extend until May 2024, is designed to stimulate tourism, particularly during the high season. Visa-free travel is open for tourists from Taiwan.
Thailand had previously removed visa requirements for Chinese tourists in September, marking a significant move given China’s pivotal role in Thailand’s tourism sector before the pandemic. In 2019, China contributed a staggering 11 million arrivals out of the record-breaking 39 million.
According to the latest government data, between January and October 29, Thailand hosted 22 million visitors, generating 927.5 billion Thai Baht (around ₹2.14 lakh crore).
Thailand’s government spokesperson, Chai Wacharonke, stated that travelers from India and Taiwan will have the opportunity to enter Thailand for a period of 30 days of Visa-Free Travel.
The waiver period for Indian visitors is from November 10, 2023, until May 10, 2024. This measure seeks to draw more Indian tourists to Thailand, as India has become the fourth-largest source market for Thai tourism this year, following Malaysia, China, and South Korea. India’s tourism inbound figures have shown notable growth due to increased airline and hospitality industry targeting.
Thailand is striving to welcome approximately 28 million tourists this year, with the government aiming to leverage the travel sector to help mitigate the economic challenges arising from weak exports.
As part of this effort, arrivals from India and Taiwan will have the privilege of staying in Thailand for 30 days on Visa-Free Travel. Thai government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke noted that authorities anticipate attracting an additional 1.4 million tourists, which would translate to an extra 55 billion Thai Baht or $1.5 billion in revenue.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin was quoted as saying, “We will provide visa-free travel to India and Taiwan because a lot of their people like to travel to Thailand.” Currently, Indian and Taiwanese tourists need to apply for a 15-day visa-on-arrival at immigration checkpoints, accompanied by bank statements and proof of accommodation.
Thailand joins Sri Lanka as the second country to announce visa waivers for Indian travelers. Sri Lanka recently revealed a visa-free travel entry initiative for visitors from seven countries, including India and China, as part of a pilot project to boost the island nation’s tourism sector until March 31, 2024.