Thailand considers scrapping arrival cards for Malaysian tourists

Photo courtesy of Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced today the potential removal of the necessity for Malaysian tourists to complete arrival and departure cards at primary border crossings, aimed at promoting tourism and business growth.

Currently, all visitors arriving via the Sadao checkpoint in Songkhla, regardless of nationality, are waived from the requirement to fill out the Tor Mor 6 (TM 6) cards. This exemption has been in place for half a year, ending on April 30.

PM Srettha disclosed the possibility of extending this exemption to other key entry points along the Malaysian border during a meeting with the Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, in Melbourne. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Australia-ASEAN special summit.

The Sadao exemption was designed to streamline the entry process and attract more Malaysian travellers and businesses to Songkhla. According to the Bangkok-born PM, the exemption has been successful, with the number of Malaysians visiting Songkhla via Sadao tripling to 30,000 on weekends, up from 10,000.

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However, visitors arriving through other checkpoints are still obliged to fill out and carry the TM 6 card and present it upon departure. The other significant border crossings between Thailand and Malaysia are located in the Betong district of Yala and Sungai Kolok district of Narathiwat.

Last year, Malaysia topped the list of foreign travellers to Thailand.

Furthering his efforts to promote tourism, the 62 year old Thai prime minister proposed a Six Countries, One Destination scheme during bilateral discussions with Anwar and Lao leader Sonexay Siphandone. He suggested that this could attract more travellers to the Southeast Asia region, reported Bangkok Post.

However, the Malaysian and Lao prime ministers indicated that they need to examine the proposal in detail, as per the Government House.

The six countries included in the proposal are Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar. The Thai prime minister previously proposed this idea during a summit with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet in Bangkok last month.

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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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