Chinese tourists flock to Pattaya amidst new free visa policy

Photo courtesy of mgronline

Pattaya‘s hospitality sector is witnessing a notable influx of Chinese visitors, a development credited to the newly introduced Thai-China free visa policy. This detail was shared by Boonkerd Suksrikan, Vice President of the Eastern Thai Hotels Association.

Boonkerd noted a significant increase in hotel reservations made by Chinese tourists, particularly those planning to stay until April, which is when Thailand’s globally renowned Songkran water festival takes place.

The visa policy, which became effective on the first day of March, permits Chinese nationals to remain in Thailand for 30 days per visit. The cumulative stay, however, must not exceed 90 days within 180 days.

Boonkerd highlighted the immediate positive impact the free visa programme had on Pattaya’s tourism landscape. The number of hotel bookings saw a considerable upswing, predominantly from Chinese tourists.

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The majority of these reservations are for family and group stays. This trend is anticipated to persist through March and April, reported The Pattaya News.

The Eastern Thai Hotels Association Vice President underscored Pattaya’s appeal among Chinese tourists, who are often on the lookout for budget-friendly accommodation options, said Boonkerd.

“The influx is attributed not only to the relaxed visa policy but also to the tourists’ desire to participate in the Songkran celebrations.”

In related news, Thailand and China implemented a mutual visa-free agreement, eliminating the need for visas for travellers from both countries. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced the initiative after a Cabinet meeting, following discussions dating back to before the previous visa-free program for Chinese tourists.

With Chinese tourists ranking as the second-highest visitors to Thailand, this agreement aimed to boost tourism revenue. Talks led to Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara negotiating with China.

Before the bilateral agreement, Thailand had introduced a tourist visa exemption scheme for Chinese and Kazakh passport holders. The Thai government aimed for 3.5 trillion baht in tourism revenue, emphasising the promotion of less-visited provinces.

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Top is a multifaceted news writer with a keen interest in real estate and travel. Top currently covers local Thai news at Thaiger. As a travel buff, Top blogs about his travels- around the world and Thailand- during his free time.

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