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Thailand extends visa fee waivers to boost tourism as growth slows


Jonathan Fairfield

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Thailand extends visa fee waivers to boost tourism as growth slows

 

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand will extend until April next year a measure that waives fees for visas on arrival issued to tourists from 18 countries, as it looks to stimulate growth in tourism to spur a slowing economy, the prime minister said on Tuesday.

 

The waivers are part of a $10-billion stimulus package to boost growth, including a debt moratorium for farmers, loans for smaller businesses, and more money for low-income earners.

 

"The cabinet approved the extension of fee waivers until April 2020," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters, adding that the scheme would cover Lunar New Year and the Thai new year, Songkran.

Foreign tourist receipts make up about 12% of Southeast Asia's second largest economy, but arrivals increased just 0.89% in June, with visitors from China, the biggest source, declining 7.1% from a year earlier.

 

The fee of 2,000 baht ($65) is to be waived unil next year for travellers from 18 countries, including China and India.

 

But the cabinet rejected a proposal for visa-free entry for visitors from China and India, because of security concerns, government spokesman Narumon Pinyosinwat said.

 

($1=30.8100 baht)

 

(Reporting by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-08-20
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Cabinet extends free visa on arrival, but says no to visa exemption for Chinese and Indians

 

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After attending a Cabinet meeting on August 20, Energy Minister Sontirat Sontijirawong said the Cabinet had agreed to extend the waiver on visa-on-arrival fees in order to boost tourism, but chose not to grant visa exemption to Indian and Chinese travellers, saying the issue had to be studied from all dimensions first.

 

“Free visa-on-arrival has been extended to April 30 in a move to attract foreign tourists planning to visit Thailand,” he said. The current fee waiver is set to expire at the end of October.

 

Separately, Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) governor Yuthasak Supasorn said the agency is studying the possibility of extending the opening hours of some entertainment venues to 4am.

 

“We visited areas that have a high volume of tourists such as Pattaya and Bangkok’s Khao San Road to talk to business owners,” he said. “TAT will hold a formal meeting with them again on Saturday [August 24] before submitting the result to Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.”

 

Source: https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30375058

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation Thailand 2019-08-20
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53 minutes ago, Peterbilt said:

Apart from India and China, did they put on a blind fold and throw dart arrows to pic the countries?

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13 hours ago, RotBenz8888 said:

Apart from India and China, did they put on a blind fold and throw dart arrows to pic the countries?

Yes I am so <deleted> off that my friends in Mali didnt get a free visa.

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14 hours ago, RotBenz8888 said:

Apart from India and China, did they put on a blind fold and throw dart arrows to pic the countries?

The list of countries whose citizens are entitled to Visas On Arrival has been around for a long time. These people are not eligible for visa exempt entries.

 

Citizens from far more counties are already eligible for free visa exempt entries so there would be little point in announcing free visa exempt entries since they're already free. Visas on Arrival, on the other hand, normally require a fee.

 

Most countries, even western countries,  have different categories of entry requirements that have evolved over time for different groups of nationalities. They may have been determined through negotiation or reciprocity. 

 

I hope that's a sufficiently simple explanation for you to understand. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Suradit69 said:

The list of countries whose citizens are entitled to Visas On Arrival has been around for a long time. These people are not eligible for visa exempt entries.

 

Citizens from far more counties are already eligible for free visa exempt entries so there would be little point in announcing free visa exempt entries since they're already free. Visas on Arrival, on the other hand, normally require a fee.

 

Most countries, even western countries,  have different categories of entry requirements that have evolved over time for different groups of nationalities. They may have been determined through negotiation or reciprocity. 

 

I hope that's a sufficiently simple explanation for you to understand. 

 

 

Oh dear, it would appear that my dart theory was wrong....shocking.

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16 hours ago, Jonathan Fairfield said:

... rejected a proposal for visa-free entry for visitors from China and India, because of security concerns...

 

Geez Thailand. You're being a petulant little girl, aren't you? One minute you want them, then you don't, then you woo them, and now you say they're a threat to your security? Never mind, let's just ignore these people. Especially since the rest of the world are climbing and clamouring over each other just to get into Thailand.

 

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16 hours ago, Peterbilt said:

Wow, most of these countries are worse off than Thailand. Will be interesting to see the hoards of people from some of these countries just because the waived the visa entry, most could not afford the visa entry let alone any thing else. Chinese and Indians don't spend any money here, if they do it goes back to their home country via other channels.

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17 hours ago, Peterbilt said:

There were actually 21 countries on that list not long ago. Andorra used to be on it. I don't remember the other 2 countries.

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59 minutes ago, outsider said:

 

Geez Thailand. You're being a petulant little girl, aren't you? One minute you want them, then you don't, then you woo them, and now you say they're a threat to your security? Never mind, let's just ignore these people. Especially since the rest of the world are climbing and clamouring over each other just to get into Thailand.

 

They can still come free until April 2020 on Visa On Arrival,but just for 15 days.

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This sounds pretty similar to a car dealer offering a free tank of gas with the purchase of a $50,000 car. The free gas is nice but many prospective buyers can't afford the car. Pretty similar to not being able to afford a "fly to" vacation.

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Maybe offset half of the money to build x 10 the number toilets, and double up on the urinal's -- I remember the sign at the White Temple Chang Rai saying no Chines allowed, I remember Chalermchai Kositpipatwent nuclear.

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17 hours ago, Peterbilt said:

I don't see the USA on the list so I won't go..........I don't see Australia, New Zea, UK, Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Austria, Denmark, Spain, and many others..... On that list...... Let's 'BOYCOTT' the leaches........

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5 minutes ago, sawadeeken said:

I don't see the USA on the list so I won't go..........I don't see Australia, New Zea, UK, Germany, France, Holland, Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Austria, Denmark, Spain, and many others..... On that list...... Let's 'BOYCOTT' the leaches........

Australia etc already get a 30 day visa exempt for free. 

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17 hours ago, RotBenz8888 said:

Apart from India and China, did they put on a blind fold and throw dart arrows to pic the countries?

No. They chose the most anti social, corrupt, poverty stricken and criminal countries in the world. I thought Saudi and Thailand had frozen diplomatic relations. And why does the article use the ghastly PC term Lunar New Year when they mean Chinese New Year?

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