The Thai Cabinet, led by Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, approved on October 16th, 2023 for Russian tourists to stay up to 90 days, increased from 30 days, on a visa-free program.
The new program will start November 1st, 2023, and end April 30th, 2024.
According to Mr. Thavisin, the program is aimed at attracting more Russian tourists during the long holiday season when Russia traditionally has tough and cold winters.
Mr. Thavisin is also set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing China which runs from today until October 21st, 2023.
The program is only the latest tourism boosting plan from Thailand after in late September the Thai Government allowed visa waivers for Chinese and Kazakhstani tourists.
The Thailand Tourism Authority has also been pushing for visa waivers for Indian tourists but so far that hasn’t happened.
Russian tourists are the fifth biggest group by nationality visiting Thailand this year, with almost a million arrivals as of October 2023.
The decision to allow Russian citizens to stay longer in Thailand wasn’t without controversy online as citizens of other nations complained that the measure didn’t apply to more countries or criticized Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine, stating that Russian citizens should not be given extra privileges at this time.