Visitors from 21 countries including China and Taiwan will continue to get free visas-on-arrival as the tourism-boosting program has again been extended, this time through October.
The interim cabinet yesterday gave the greenlight to extending the fee waiver six more months for those visiting for 15 days or fewer in hope the extension will generate an additional THB104 billion (US$3 billion).
It applies to travelers from Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Sorry, everyone else.
Thai tourism has been recovering from a large fall-off of Chinese arrivals, which accounted for 28 percent of 2017’s 35 million visitors, following the government’s insensitive handling of the drowning of nearly 50 Chinese tourists on a boat off Phuket.
Tourism officials late last year said the numbers were recovering, a number of Thai hotels and travel agencies contacted by Coconuts Bangkok last month all said the same thing: The Chinese aren’t coming.