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Thailand Woos Chinese and Kazakhstani Tourists with Visa Exemptions

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In a move to boost tourism, the Royal Thai Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Srettha Thavisin, has declared a temporary tourist visa exemption for passport holders from the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Kazakhstan.

This exemption will be in effect from 25 September 2023 to 29 February 2024.

This initiative aims to meet Thailand's ambitious tourism revenue target of 2.38 trillion Baht for the year. Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists will benefit from a 30-day visa-free stay for tourism purposes during this period.



H.E. Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, commented on the visa scheme as a part of the government's Quick-win measures. These measures, announced on 11 September 2023, are designed to stimulate the Thai economy through tourism. She emphasized the importance of the Chinese market and the emerging significance of Kazakhstan in Thailand's tourism landscape.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) anticipates a significant influx of tourists during this period. They expect between 1,912,000 to 2,888,500 Chinese tourists, marking a growth of 41-62% year-on-year. This could result in a tourism income ranging from 92.58 to 140 billion Baht. From Kazakhstan, the forecast is set at 129,485 tourists, a 49.73% increase from the previous year, generating 7.93 billion Baht.



Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, the Governor of TAT, highlighted the benefits of the 'ease of travelling' policy. She believes that the visa exemption will encourage more tourists to choose Thailand as their travel destination.

She said, “The ‘ease of travelling’ policy will enable tourists to save time and spending on visa application and fee, making it easier for tourists to decide to travel to Thailand. With the visa exemption scheme, Thailand could expect to welcome around 4.04-4.4 million Chinese tourists in 2023 and achieve the forecasted revenue target of 257,500 million Baht.”

From 1 January to 10 September 2023, Thailand recorded 2,284,281 Chinese visitors, making China the second largest source of tourist markets after Malaysia. Without the visa exemption scheme, Thailand is expected to see 3,470,430 Chinese visitors in 2023 – about 31% of the recorded year in 2019 – and generate 174,358 million Baht.

The visa scheme's timing is impeccable, coinciding with China's Golden Week, a major holiday period from 1-8 October 2023. Airlines are gearing up with charter flights, increased flight frequencies, and new routes connecting various Chinese cities to popular Thai destinations.

Thailand's vision is clear: rejuvenate its tourism sector and position itself as a top choice for global travelers. This visa exemption is a significant step towards realizing that vision.

From Kazakhstan, Thailand expects the visa exemption scheme to help reach 180,000 tourists by the end of this year,” Ms. Thapanee added.

From 1 January to 10 September 2023, Thailand saw a record 108,636 tourists from Kazakhstan. Phuket is the favourite destination among Kazakhstani tourists.

The visa exemption scheme extended to Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists forms is expected to help revive Thai tourism and achieve this year’s target of 25-30 million tourists and 2.38 trillion Baht in revenue.

The policy is also expected to help fuel tourism growth through to 2024, reflecting the government’s policy that places tourism as a key mechanism for driving the Thai economy and making Thailand the preferred destination for travellers from around the world.


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