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Waiver of visa-on-arrival fees to boost Chinese New Year tourism

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Waiver of visa-on-arrival fees to boost Chinese New Year tourism

Thammarat Thadaphrom




BANGKOK - The exemption of fees for visa on arrival is expected to draw more Chinese tourists to Thailand during the Lunar New Year festive season. 


The government has approved the extension of the visa-on-arrival fee waiver for citizens of 20 countries until April 30, 2019, as a measure to stimulate and promote tourism, as well as enhancing Thailand’s attractiveness among foreign visitors during the high travel season.


Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Yuthasak Supasorn, said that the continuation of the visa-on-arrival stimulus measure came at a perfect time as Thailand is set to celebrate Chinese New Year in February and Songkran, the traditional Thai New Year, in April.


Chinese New Year celebrations are huge in Thailand, and this year will mark the 15th anniversary of cooperation between the TAT, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Chinese Embassy in organizing annual Lunar New Year festivities in Thailand. Chinese New Year 2019 falls on Tuesday, February 5.


As for the traditional Thai New Year, he said the TAT will continue its strategy to promote Thai traditions and cultural values, the core part of almost all traditional events and festivals in Thailand. It will provide support for the organizing of Songkran celebrations in various destinations throughout the kingdom.


The 20 countries eligible for the visa-on-arrival fee waiver include Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China including Taiwan, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Citizens of these countries will be exempted from the 2,000-baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand for no longer than 15 days.


NNT: 2019-01-19

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7 minutes ago, jacko45k said:

Oh Joy!

It's also strange that Songkran is not recognised as Indian.

Originally called Mahasa Sankriti it was the time when the suns path went through the centre of the constellation known now as Aries.

The monks would give the locals blessed water at the temple to take home and spread on the house and family.

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And before anyone gets too excited, this only applies to citizens of...
Andorra Bhutan Bulgaria China Cyprus Ethiopia Fiji India Kazakhstan Latvia Lithuania Maldives Malta Mauritius Papua New Guinea Romania San Marino Saudi Arabia Taiwan Ukraine Uzbekistan 

...who qualify for Visa On Arrival (VOA) which is entirely different to Visa Exemption (which has always been free) or a Tourist Visa (which you buy in advance). 

See https://thailand971.wordpress.com 

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So ... visitors for whom 2K Baht "makes the difference" on coming to Thailand or not, will come in greater frequency now. 


I don't see what there is to celebrate, other than increased airport-tax revenues.  Other visitors experience traffic-jams and general-crowding (so don't come/return), and Thai businesses watch low-spending gawkers pass by.

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So the TAT saying tourism is back and thriving must be....incorrect. Or they would not be offering the waiver. They must feel the Chinese are worth discarding the rest of the world because once a visitor has to share space with a Chinese tourist they will never come back.

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