Both Thailand and China have decided to permanently waive visa requirements for their citizens starting from March 1. This move aims to boost relations and provide opportunities for tourists from both countries.
- Thailand and China have agreed to waive visa requirements for travelers, which is expected to boost the post-pandemic recovery of Thailand’s tourism industry.
- Chinese visitors will be exempt from visa from March 1 needs and Thai tourists will also receive the same permanent privilege, enhancing people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.
- The new visa deal and prospects for increased tourist arrivals are expected to benefit Thai airlines, hotel operators, and other tourism-related businesses, boosting the country’s economy.
Thailand was the first to offer visa exemption to visitors from China and Kazakhstan in September, followed by India and Taiwan nationals in November. The Thai government is hoping to improve the economy this year by launching various measures, including promoting tourism and attracting foreign investment.
Chinese tourists were the largest group before the pandemic and accounted for a significant portion of Thailand’s tourist arrivals. The visa exemption aims to enhance people-to-people exchanges and is expected to stimulate the post-pandemic recovery. The agreement will be officially signed by the end of February, allowing for a maximum stay of 30 days per entry.
The tourism authority of Thailand estimates that this program will bring in 700,000 new arrivals, with an expected increase in Chinese tourists in the coming years.
Thailand welcomed over 27 million visitors in 2023, surpassing the government’s target. The largest group of visitors came from Malaysia, followed by China, but falling short of the initial target of 4 million Chinese visitors. The lower numbers are attributed to China’s sluggish economy and a shift towards domestic tourism.
Malaysia had the highest number of arrivals with 4,439,480 visitors, followed by China with 3,418,732, South Korea with 1,616,858, India with 1,587,090, and Russia with 1,428,985.
Thailand’s visa exemption policy is aimed at rejuvenating its tourism industry, with a particular focus on markets that have been slow to recover from the pandemic. As part of a temporary program lasting 5 months, Chinese, Russian, and Kazakhstani tourists have already been granted visa exemption for up to 30 days since September 25th.