Published on : Tuesday, August 20, 2019
Amid a sluggish global economy and competition a visa waiver for the Chinese and Indian visitors is necessary for Thailand according to Chairat Trirattanajarasporn, president of the Tourism Council of Thailand.
Concerns were raised by the Foreign Ministry over national security issues from the influx of arrivals if there is a visa exemption. But Chiarat said that it was the duty of the immigration officers to develop a thorough inspection process to track down tourists who overstay.
A one-year period free visas for tourists from China for up to 15 days has been proposed by the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
The increase in visitors would offset the fee losses of about 10 billion baht in visa fees by higher spending from the tourists according to Chairat.
For six months the scheme should be run and then assessed. The measure can be stopped if there is a problem and return to waiving fees for visas on arrival.
Chairat said that without free visas, Thailand will not be able to achieve its goal of 40 million foreign arrivals in 2019.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) had been working at abating concerns since the beginning of the year as China’s market has been an epicenter of Thailand’s tourism tremors.
TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn concluded that the drop in the Chinese visitors during the first half was understandable as compared to the same period last year. There was a growth of 20% in 2018 and the record is hard to beat due to the unprecedented negative factors this year.