Thailand Streamlines Visa Process to Boost Foreign Tourism

Thailand has announced significant changes to its visa application process. The country aims to entice a larger number of international visitors, as disclosed by a government representative.

Ratchada Thanadirek, the deputy government spokesperson, revealed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expedited the tourist visa process. The required documentation has been trimmed down, and applicants can expect a visa turnaround in just seven working days, halved from the previous 14.

Even in the off-season, Thailand has seen a surge in tourists, which aligns with the government’s objective of prioritizing and simplifying tourist entry. Ratchada acknowledged this in a statement, emphasizing the government’s dedication to fostering a robust tourism ecosystem.

Recent data highlights the success of these measures. Just last week, the country saw an influx of 95,581 Chinese tourists, making China the top nation for visitors. Malaysia, South Korea, India, and Vietnam trailed closely behind. Since the beginning of the year through early August, Thailand has greeted 15.89 million tourists, generating an impressive 663 billion baht (roughly US$18.92 billion) from their visits alone.

With this current momentum, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports anticipates reaching its annual foreign tourist target of 25 million. This is a notable rise from the 11.15 million recorded in 2022. It’s worth noting that in 2019, before the pandemic disrupted global travel, almost 28% of the nearly 40 million foreign visitors hailed from China.

Thailand’s economy is heavily influenced by its tourism sector, contributing to approximately 12% of the nation’s GDP. (Xinhua)

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