Thai visa-free scheme boosts Chinese tourism, domestic travel surges

Picture courtesy of ThiaRath.

The Thai government’s visa-free scheme for Chinese and Kazakh tourists is proving to be a success, according to the country’s Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Srettha Thavisin. Running from September 25 to February 29, the scheme coincides with several significant Chinese holidays and forms part of the government’s Quick Win strategy to stimulate the economy.

PM Srettha, who shared his sentiments via the social media platform Twitter, expressed his delight at the positive response from Chinese tourists to the visa exemption. He anticipates that the best is yet to come, as Thailand continues to be a favourite destination for Chinese tourists. The 61 year old Thai prime minister also highlighted the potential business benefits stemming from the influx of visitors., China’s largest travel booking platform operator, provided data indicating that travel bookings from China to Thailand are now nearly 20 times higher compared to the same holiday period last year. Chinese tourists’ hotel reservations in Thailand have also skyrocketed by 6,220% year-on-year, reported Bangkok Post.

“PM Srettha said Thailand is very happy to welcome every Chinese traveller.

“Our country has beautiful beaches and myriads of Thai cuisine. I wish every tourist to travel in Thailand safely and gain good experiences.”

Government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke echoed these sentiments and emphasised the government’s commitment to ensuring tourist safety to bolster Thailand’s reputation.

The visa exemption scheme has also had a positive impact on domestic tourism, as evidenced by the increase in local travel during weekends, according to state-run Transport Company managing director, Sanyalak Panwattanalikhit.

He reported that between 30,000 to 35,000 passengers travel during the weekend, with one of the most popular routes being Bangkok to Chiang Khan in Loei.

Chiang Khan, with its old wooden shophouses lining the bank of the Mekong River, offers a relaxed environment that appeals to Thai tourists. To accommodate the increase in demand, the company plans to double its service from two to four trips per day. Additionally, the Bangkok–Ban Phaeng route in Nakhon Phanom will be reinstated starting today, Sanyalak confirmed.

Follow more of The Thaiger’s latest stories on our new Facebook page HERE.

Thailand NewsTourism News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles