ATTA says the time waste could affect the country’s image and tourism and demands relevant state agencies to resolve the problem.
It said as the country is now entering the tourism season, the problem needed to be resolved urgently.
According to ATTA president Prakobgosol, issuance of VOA by immigration officials at the airports, notably Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi, are slow.
He said during the high season, a large number of tourists will arrive in Thailand and the issuance of VOA takes as long as 1-2 hours. But on some occassion, it takes up to 3-4 hours.
Mr Vichit said affected tourists are mostly Chinese and Indians although application for VOA has higher cost than normal visa application.
He suggested that immigration officials handling visa issuance should be increased to cope with large number of passengers during this coming high season.
In response to ATTA’s complaint and call, Immigration Bureau deputy spokesman Pol Col Cherngron Rimpadee said the immigration police have applied international standards in issuing VOA to tourists.
He said the long queue might be caused by accumulated passengers during the high traffic time.
He said immigration officials can handle one VOA passenger in 3 minutes for administrative work before entering the immigration checkpoint process similar to other inbound passengers.
He admitted that those affected most by the VOA procedure are Chinese and Indians.
He said immigration offices at Suvarnabhumi handles 6,000-7,000 applicants for VOA daily but the procedure could be longer from accumulated passengers caused by high number of flight arrivals at the airport.
However, he assured that VOA passengers are given priorities to enter through a special immigration checkpoint without having to wait in queue like ordinary passengers.
The Immigration Bureau is in talks with relevant government agencies to allow VOA applications on line to shorten the normal procedure, but this will also take into consideration the national security matters, he added.
The Immigration Bureau deputy spokesman reiterated that authorities need to screen VOA applicants thoroughly as such channel could be exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter the country.
Thailand faces zero tourists, zero revenue situation
Thailand has effectively closed its doors to non-resident foreigners under a state of emergency that came into force on Thursday (March 26), bringing down tourist entries close to nil.
Emirates suspends all passenger operations
Emirates retains cargo operations, but temporarily suspends passenger operations by 25 March
- Emirates retains cargo operations, but temporarily suspends passenger operations by 25 March
- dnata significantly reduces operations, including temporary closure of operations at some international locations where demand is low
- Group implements basic salary reduction for majority of employees for three months, will not cut jobs
- Supports government measures to safeguard community health
COVID-19 could cut 30 million jobs in the tourism industry in Asia
The coronavirus epidemic is putting up to 50 million jobs in the global travel and tourism sector at risk, with travel likely to slump by a quarter this year, Asia being the most affected continent
- The World Travel and Tourism Council has warned the COVID-19 pandemic could cut 50 million jobs worldwide in the travel and tourism industry.
- Asia is expected to be the worst affected.
- Once the outbreak is over, it could take up to 10 months for the industry to recover.
- The tourism industry currently accounts for 10% of global GDP.
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