Thailand to open up visa-free stays

BANGKOK, 7 August 2019: As China and India emerge as priority targets for Thailand’s latest tourism promotions, visa-free-travel is back on the table for urgent consideration.

Last week, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Pipat Ratchakitprakarn, told Prachachat Business he intends to introduce visa-free travel for Chinese and Indians later this year.

Currently, citizens of both countries need to apply for a visa-on-arrival although the THB2,000 service fee has been waived until October this year.

The new minister says all that might change with both countries joining a long list of countries that enjoy visa-free entry for a stay of 14 days, possibly as early as 1 November.

This year’s target for tourism revenue, including domestic travel, has been set at THB3.4 trillion. Earnings from international tourists will reach around THB2.2 trillion while tourist arrivals should exceed 40.5 million.

The move is part of a broader policy to increase tourism revenue and reverse the slow down in the tourism growth rate.

Pipat says the Chinese market could still deliver as many as 11 million tourists this year up from 10.5 million. While tourist arrivals from India in 2018 reached 1.5 million, making it the sixth-largest source of visitors. The growth rate was an impressive 27% over 2017.

The latest proposal will introduce a one-year pilot project offering Chinese and Indian tourists visa-free entry starting 1 November, a day after the current Visa-on-Arrival project ends.

Pipat told Prachachat Business: “This time I would like to propose visa-free travel, not a free Visa-on-Arrival. I believe it would stimulate the tourism industry and result in a much stronger conclusion for the high season later this year.”


  1. Why Thailand must act so?
    Simple America is bankrupt, the dollar is not worth the paper it is print on. The Euro pushed down from the EZB.
    Why all that? Very simple, push the worth of your money down than the rest of the world must pay your credits.
    That’s the bad sin behind but it is not enough for Europ and America and the rest of the world is no longer ready to hold that situation up, or must earn much more to hold it.
    The Thai PM mus fight against a crazy world. Good people speak for taking care of nature and human rights and in the same way consume like never before and never be ready to reduce her own consume that other people can also live. But as long it is far away enough all is good.
    The ThaiPM must act so that his people have jobs and income and to make the best out of the situation. Sure we can change but we must to it individually. If you don’t like plastic bags no problem use cotton bags or better buy 10 and give nine people bags for free. The government can not handle everything it’s up to the people to start and make changes.

  2. It is okay with Chinese citizens but I will not agree for visa-free entry to Indians. They are known to damage the environment and misbehaviour. You can already see how they keep their own country which has turned into a garbage dump and open street toilets

  3. Thailand is no longer the first choice for British travellers. The pound against the baht is so low that is it not worth it anymore. I remember 75 baht to the pound now half that not worth the long flight. Shame because I do love the country

  4. Already Thailand is overrun with tourists and garbage and pollution is destroying the natural beauty everywhere. Why increase tourism from the well known two countries that are famous for destroying nature and care less about pollution or the of nature. Does Thailand needs a lot more of these tourists to make sure there is nothing left to see for everyone else in a few years?

  5. Obviously, another way to ignore Westerners and encourage the new economies. But, I don’t think that Chinese and Indians will fill the bars and be as free with their money as the fast disappearing Westerners!

  6. It’s the world’s top goal for travel and tourism promotion if all nationalities could travel free if Thailand could have the most efficient police system and manpower to follow and investigate all tourist nationalities intending to hide themselves working and living in Thailand and or the criminal and terrorism foreigners seeking residency in the country. It would be risky too.

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