Thailand Set to Expand Visa-Free Policy to Include More Countries


Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has announced that Thailand is set to expand its visa-free travel policy to include citizens from more countries. The move follows the recent exemption granted to travelers from China and India, aimed at revitalizing tourism, a crucial sector for Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

During a meeting with Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley, both parties considered a mutual visa exemption scheme to boost travel and business between their nations. The Thai government is also in discussions about similar agreements with European countries within the Schengen visa zone.

Despite efforts to revive the industry, Thailand’s tourism sector has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. Last year, the country welcomed approximately 28 million foreign tourists, generating 1.2 trillion baht in revenue, a decrease from the nearly 40 million visitors and 1.9 trillion baht earned in 2019. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Malaysian tourists led the arrivals with around 4.5 million visitors, followed by Chinese tourists at about 3.51 million.

Since the beginning of the year, over 533,000 Chinese travelers have visited Thailand, making them the largest group of visitors, followed by Malaysians and South Koreans. The Tourism and Sports Ministry remains optimistic, projecting that Thailand could attract 35 million foreign visitors this year, bolstered by the 3 million tourists recorded in January.

The preceding is a press release from the Thai Government PR Department.

Goongnang Suksawat
Goong Nang is a News Translator who has worked professionally for multiple news organizations in Thailand for many years and has worked with The Pattaya News for more than four years. Specializes primarily in local news for Phuket, Pattaya, and also some national news, with emphasis on translation between Thai to English and working as an intermediary between reporters and English-speaking writers. Originally from Nakhon Si Thammarat, but lives in Phuket and Krabi except when commuting between the three.