Thailand will allow visa exemption for Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists starting September 25th in order to increase tourist arrivals.
- Thailand is granting visa exemption to Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists in an effort to boost arrivals and counter a decrease in Chinese tourist numbers.
- The exemption is being offered due to the harsh winter weather in Kazakhstan and the interest shown by tourists from the country to visit Thailand.
- The economic slowdown in China has led to a decrease in Chinese tourists visiting Thailand, with many choosing domestic travel instead.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand has been lower than expected so far this year. The inclusion of Kazakhstan is due to the severe winter weather in the country and the interest shown by tourists from there.
The visa exemption will be in effect until February, and its impact will be assessed by the government. The economic slowdown in China has led to fewer Chinese tourists visiting Thailand, as many have opted for domestic travel instead.
As a result, Thailand’s decision to grant visa exemption to Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists starting from September 25th is seen as a strategic move to attract more visitors and counter the decline in Chinese tourist numbers.
During the five-month visa exemption period, Thailand is expected to welcome 1,912,000 to 2,888,500 Chinese tourists – a year-on-year growth of about 41-62% – and generate a tourism income of around 92.58-140 billion Baht. From Kazakhstan, Thailand has forecasted 129,485 Kazakhstani tourists – a 49.73% increase over the same period last year – and 7.93 billion Baht in revenue according to a TAT press release.
Furthermore, Thailand acknowledges the economic slowdown in China, which has led to a decrease in Chinese tourists visiting the country. With domestic travel becoming a more popular option for Chinese tourists, Thailand hopes that the visa exemption will incentivize them to choose Thailand as their destination.
From 1 January to 10 September 2023, Thailand recorded 2,284,281 Chinese visitors, making China the second largest source of tourist markets after Malaysia. Without the visa exemption scheme, Thailand is expected to see 3,470,430 Chinese visitors in 2023 – about 31% of the recorded year in 2019 – and generate 174,358 million Baht.
Promotional campaigns and targeted marketing efforts will be implemented to enhance awareness about the visa exemption and highlight the unique attractions and experiences that Thailand has to offer. The tourism industry in Thailand is optimistic that this initiative will help revive the number of tourists and stimulate economic growth.