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Thailand Greets Chinese Tourists With Garlands As Visa Waiver Program Begins


Thailand greets Chinese tourists with garlandsas the visa waiver programbegins. On Monday, Bangkok's international airport witnessed a cordial reception by prominent Thai authorities from a considerable number of Chinese visitors.

This marked the beginning of a visa-free entrance initiative aimed at revitalizing Thailand's tourism sector, which suffered significant setbacks due to the adverse effects of the coronavirus epidemic.

The Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, engaged in the distribution of presents and participated in photo sessions, with the tourism minister and other distinguished individuals, to welcome around 300 tourists from Shanghai.

The visitors, who were taken aback by the unexpected spectacle, were provided with amusement by Thai traditional dancers and drummers in the arrivals area at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

We are confident that this policy will greatly boost the economy.- Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin

According to his statement, the government intends to strategically market Thailand's smaller cities as attractive locations for Chinese visitors, with the aim of extending their duration of stay and increasing their expenditure.

Srettha emphasized that ensuring the safety of tourists is of utmost importance to the authorities. There is a prevalence of allegations and rumors spreading extensively on Chinese social media platforms pertaining to instances of fraudulent activities and incidents of kidnapping occurring in Thailand.

A visitor hailing from Shanghai, who introduced himself as Dai, expressed admiration for the vibrant reception ceremony held at the airport. However, he observed that the border officer responsible for verifying his passport was initially unaware of the temporary visa exemption program.

The individual expressed their intention to remain for a duration of two weeks and explore additional urban areas apart from Bangkok, such as Chiang Mai and Phuket.

According to Peng Chunyu and Wan Yi, individuals who came on the same flight, the policy implemented by Thailand to provide visa-free access for Chinese nationals is commendable.

According to Peng, the procedure was characterized by a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness. The duration of their vacation will span nine days, during which they express anticipation for visiting prominent landmarks in Bangkok such as the Grand Palace, Wat Arun temple, and Chinatown.

The visa exemption, which is also applicable to travelers originating from the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan, will remain in place until February 29th. According to Tourism Minister Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, there has been a notable increase of around 30% in both accommodation and flight bookings subsequent to the announcement of the policy.

China emerged as a significant contributor to Thailand's tourism sector over ten years ago, with about 11 million visitors in 2019, constituting 27.6% of the total influx that year. However, the advent of the pandemic inflicted severe damage upon the tourist industry.

Visa Exemption And Bilateral Agreement

Tourists from sixty-four different countries can visit Thailand without a visa according to the country's "Visa Exemption" policy. Visitors entering Thailand from a neighboring country can stay for up to 30 days if they enter through an international airport or land border crossing.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin in his blue suit
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin in his blue suit

Passport holders from 64 countries can visit Thailand without a visa if they satisfy the requirements of the VISA EXEMPTION RULE and BILATERAL AGREEMENT, which went into force on December 31, 2016.

  • Be from an approved country.
  • Be visiting Thailand strictly for tourism.
  • Hold a genuine passport with a valid expiry of over 6 months.
  • Can provide a valid address in Thailand on entry that can be verified. This address can be a hotel or an apartment.
  • Must have a confirmed return ticket exiting Thailand within 30 days. Open tickets do not qualify. Traveling overland by train, bus, etc. to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia (including en route to Singapore), Myanmar, etc. is not accepted as proof of exiting Thailand.
  • Provide proof of funds of at least 10,000 THB for single travelers, or 20,000 THB per family during your stay in Thailand.

Final Words

The Thailand Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) has recently declared that, from October 1, 2022, an extension of the Visa Exemption stay length would be implemented, increasing the duration from 30 days to 45 days. The aforementioned modification is presently operational and will remain so until the 31st of March, 2023.

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About The Authors

Jane Resture

Jane Resture- Since she embarked on her first world trip in 2002, Jane Resture spent the past decades sharing her personal journey and travel tips with people around the world. She has traveled to over 80 countries and territories, where she experienced other cultures, wildlife she had only read about in books, new foods, new people, and new amazing experiences. Jane believes that travel is for everyone and it helps us learn about ourselves and the world around us. Her goal is to help more people from more backgrounds experience the joy of exploration because she trusts that travel opens the door to the greatest, most unforgettable experiences life can offer and this builds a kinder, more inclusive, more open-minded world.

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