As part of its initiatives to support the Tourism Industry, the Royal Thai government has agreed to waive fees for Thai Tourist Visas from March 5, 2009 to June 4, 2009.
In the face of the global financial crisis, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is personally spearheading efforts to revive the tourism industry and boost the country’s competence. TAT (Tourism Authority of Thailand) Governor, Mrs. Phornsiri Manoharn, expressed her gratitude for the Thai government’s support in tourism efforts. “The support we are getting from the Royal Thai government is a clear indication that Thai travel and tourism is back to business with excellent deals and marketing support for our friends in the travel trade. Thailand is and continues to be a wonderful diverse tourism destination with great beaches, food, spas, hotels, nature, sports, and smiles, and is fabulous value for money. “We welcome all visitors from around the world,” she says.
Being a tourist-friendly destination, Thailand gives Visa on Arrival for citizens of 20 countries for a stay not exceeding 15 days, while citizens of another 42 can stay in Thailand 30 days without a visa under the Visa Exemptino Rule.
However, everyone is reminded that if they wish to stay longer in Thailand, they will have to obtain a visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or diplomatic mission prior to their arrival in the country.
Last February 3, 2009, the Thai Cabinet also approved a visa exemption scheme for transit passengers traveling through Suvarnabhumi International Airport who must wait long hours to catch a connecting flight. Thailand hosts thousands of transit passengers daily, many of whom stay at the airport for up to eight hours.
This allows them to temporarily leave the airport premises on a short visit or to shop at places near the airport without a visa.
This year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting about 14 million visitors, projecting tourism revenue at 505 billion baht (US$14.46 billion).