Thai Tourism Minister pushes ahead with visa-free entry for Indian, Chinese visitors

PHOTO: ThaiVisa

Despite criticism from both the Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and Deputy Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, the Tourism and Sports Minister says he will push on with plans for visa-free entry for Chinese and Indian tourists.

Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn plans to put the proposal to Cabinet on August 20, despite the national security concerns of both ministers.

“I have faith in Thai police. Even if the Cabinet does not approve the proposal of visa-exempt entry, criminals will still come to Thailand and get caught. The finance minister agreed with the measure on August 16, and I will propose it to the Cabinet to seek a final solution.”

The move to increase tourist numbers to Thailand includes allowing Indian and Chinese visitors to enter without a visa from November 1 to October 31, 2020, as well as scrapping the visa-on-arrival fee for 19 countries, excluding Chinese and Indian passport holders.

The Finance Minister also suggests giving visitors to Thailand a gift of 1,000 baht, in addition to the 100 baht eat-shop-travel project, 15% discount (at a limit of 30,000 baht) on food, hotel and travel, along with a special week-day tourism plan.

Regarding extending opening hours for entertainment venues in some areas to 4.00am, Minister Phiphat says he will hold informal talks with the PM and related ministries but has asked the Tourism Authority of Thailand for more research on this.

SOURCE: The Nation

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