Chinese tourists roll with the non-ed visa punches in Phuket

Picture of Chinese tourists at Phuket International Airport on Saturday courtesy of Bangkok Post

A group of Chinese tourists swept into Phuket this weekend, kickstarting Thailand’s tourism revival under the Non-Immigrant ED Visa, playfully dubbed the Non-Ed Visa. This special pass unlocks the punchline: tourists can now spar in Muay Thai classes, stretching their stay to a whopping 90 days, delivering a knockout blow to the former 60-day limit.

The welcoming party at Phuket International Airport consisted of several officials, including Paitoon Chutimakornkul, an advisor to the prime minister and a member of the sports sub-committee. It is under his guidance that this visa extension scheme was brought to fruition, eliminating the necessity for tourists to return to their home countries to extend their Thailand visas.

According to Paitoon, this initiative is part of the sports sub-committee’s policy. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is promoting Muay Thai as one of Thailand’s soft powers.

The successful reception of this policy is evident in the numerous countries that have reached out to the Sports Authority of Thailand’s (SAT) Board of Boxing Sport. The board is responsible for assisting the participants with the required documentation to partake in the programme, reported Bangkok Post.

Paitoon expressed his satisfaction with the programme.

“The programme will promote Muay Thai on a global scale and lead to the popularisation of Thailand’s other sports.”

On another note, Pimol Srivikorn, another advisor to the prime minister and chairman of the sports sub-committee in the National Soft Power Strategy Committee, disclosed that the SAT and his sub-committee have conducted a second trial to grant certificates to Muay Thai teachers. This will allow them to teach overseas, with 11 candidates successfully passing the trial, said Pimol.

“They will be teaching Muay Thai from tomorrow to Thursday in Saudi Arabia, which has shown interest in bringing in Muay Thai trainers from Thailand.”

This step reflects the increasing global interest in Muay Thai and Thailand’s initiative to promote it on an international platform.

Thailand NewsTourism NewsVisa Information

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.

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