Tourists might soon be granted a visa on arrival/visa exemption which allows them to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 45 days. Currently, passport holders of certain countries are granted 30 day visa exemptions on arrival, and others are granted visas on arrival with a maximum stay of 15 days.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will propose the idea to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) at the next CCSA meeting on August 19, according to TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn.
The proposed extension would extend both visa exemptions on arrival and visas on arrival (VOA) to 45 days. The new policy would be effective from the date of approval until December 31, 2022, said the TAT.
For lists of countries eligible for a visa, and exemptions click here.
If the CCSA accepts the proposal, the TAT expects the average tourist to stay for an extra five days, spending 4,000 – 5,000 baht each per day, pumping a potential 20,000 extra into Thailand’s economy for every trip made to Thailand.
TAT examined data from visa applicants at Thai embassies around the world and found that most tourists wanted to stay in Thailand longer than one month. The data might help convince the CCSA to give tourists what they want.
Yuthasak explained that the TAT also wants to get the tourist visa fee waived. At a meeting on July 18, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Cha-o-cha said the idea needs more consideration and input from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Immigration Office.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn commented on both ideas…
“Extending the period of stay of tourist visas and visa on arrival is something that can be done faster [than waiving the tourist visa fee]. So, we will propose the idea to the CCSA on August 19. Whatever we can do now, we should do it, so it can be announced and foreign tourists and entrepreneurs can prepare. Regarding waiving the tourist visa fee, we need to discuss it further at the policy level.”
SOURCE: Bangkok Biz News
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