Free VoA visa until October

BANGKOK, 26 April 2019: As expected the Thai government will extend the fee waiver for a visa-on-arrival until the end of 31 October.

That means citizens of 21 nations, who are eligible to apply for a visa-on-arrival, will not have to pay the THB2,000 fee.

Earlier, government sources said the waiver would be extended until July after it expired 30 April, but tourism leaders pressed for a six-month extension to see the travel industry through to the next peak holiday season.

A Bangkok Post report claimed the waiver would cost around THB2.95 billion in lost visa revenue based on last year’s visa applications trends.

But travel industry leaders also argued that during the six months earnings from Chinese tourists would top THB115 billion, a ballpark figure on tourist spending based on criteria that have never been properly explained by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. But what we do know it is a guess give or take a billion.

The VoA fee waiver was first introduced in November 2017 in response to a dramatic decline in tourist arrivals from China that knocked the wind out of the tourism sails during the second half of the year.

China and India are the two major markets should benefit from the visa fee waiver.

Last year, Thailand welcomed 38 million tourists with China supplying 10 million visits and India 1.5 million.


  1. We’d rather wonder how a free VOA increases the number of tourists who do not make visa from the Thai consul in their countries. In this case, we ‘d rather believe that it does not increase the number of tourists to Thailand, but it may reduce the number of tourists requesting a VISA at the consulate in their resident country as they can get a free VOA at the airport. We may claim that it increases the number of tourists visiting Thailand but it may also be that those who would have got a visa before they left home took advantage of the deal and opted for the VoA.

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