Thai Cabinet Approves Visa Exemption for Russian Tourists, But Changed from 90 Days to 60


In a move to boost tourism and economic growth, the Thai cabinet has announced an extension of the visa-free scheme for Russian visitors. Starting May 1st, Russians can enjoy a 60-day visa exemption, but this is shorter than before, replacing the previous 90-day programme set to conclude at April’s end.

This strategic decision aims to enhance tourism revenue and invigorate the national economy, as articulated by government spokesman Chai Wacharonke. The initiative, proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reflects the government’s commitment to fostering international relations and tourism, according to Chai.

Previously, the Thai government had sanctioned a 90-day visa-free period to lure Russian tourists during the peak travel season. With the impending expiration of this programme, the new 60-day exemption is poised to maintain the momentum in attracting visitors from Russia.

TPN media notes that the reduction in timeframe for the visa exemption is not entirely surprising, however, after several viral incidents involving Russian tourists mostly in Phuket and complaints from local residents, also mostly in Phuket, of overtourism.

At the same time, there have also been concerns from some netizens that some of the Russian “tourists” were not truly tourists but trying to escape potentially being drafted into service in the ongoing military conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

The original version of this article appeared on our sister website, The Pattaya News, owned by our parent company TPN media.

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.