Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists will be welcomed by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin at Suvarnabhumi Airport tomorrow, signalling the start of the government’s new visa-free initiative. Srettha will be accompanied by a delegation of ministers and officials at a reception organised by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to greet Chinese travellers aboard Thai AirAsia X flight XJ761, scheduled to arrive from Shanghai to Bangkok at 10.15am.
The Royal Gazette confirmed last week that the relaxed entry rules and 30-day visa-free stays for Chinese and Kazakhstani nationals will commence tomorrow and conclude on February 29 of the following year. In celebration of this initiative, TAT is coordinating a reception for the inaugural group of visa-free tourists tomorrow at four key international airports across Thailand: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.
Tourism and Sports Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol shared that the ceremony will feature a welcoming signboard and cultural performances. Tourists will also receive jasmine garlands and elephant-patterned trousers, a favourite memento among visitors to Thailand.
Sudawan added that the Tourism and Sports Ministry is collaborating with the private sector to enhance tourism, reported Bangkok Post.
Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit believes the scheme will stimulate the economy and anticipates an uptick in Chinese visitors during their National Day holiday from September 29 to October 6.
He predicts daily flights from China will rise from 72 to 96 once the initiative is in place, and the daily number of Chinese tourists will increase from 9,680 to 18,656. Suriya is confident the goal of attracting five million Chinese tourists this year is within reach.
In preparation for the expected surge in tourists, Suriya has instructed the Airports of Thailand to implement measures to accommodate the increased visitor numbers. For instance, all 138 counters at Suvarnabhumi Airport’s immigration will be staffed to serve 7,140 passengers per hour, with each expected to spend less than a minute at the counter.
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