Proposal to ease visa rules put forward

Proposal to ease visa rules put forward

International visitors proceed to screening upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province. (File photo)
International visitors proceed to screening upon arrival at Suvarnabhumi airport in Samut Prakan province. (File photo)

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) will propose a visa fee exemption for international arrivals and an extension for visitors from nations not requiring a visa to enter the country from 30 to 45 days during the second half of this year.

A meeting between the TAT and more than 100 representatives from 10 tourism associations yesterday ended with five proposals that are expected to be presented to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) next week.

At present, Thailand grants a visa exemption to 56 countries whose citizens don't have to apply for a visa or pay the 1,000-baht fee, but the stay is limited to 30 days.

However, most countries, including potential markets such as India, still require visitors to apply for a visa and pay an application fee for a stay of no more than 60 days.

The visa-on-arrival (VOA) option, which is the leading choice among visitors who do not wish to deal with the inconvenience of visiting a Thai consulate, costs 1,500 baht. However, this option only allows a visitor to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 15 days.

The 30-day limit may be insufficient as tourists nowadays wish to take longer trips, as seen by the increase in average spending per visitor from 47,000 baht to 77,000 baht, said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the TAT.

As the government previously extended the right to remain in the country from 30 to 45 days during the period when quarantine was required, if tourism operators want to seek another extension, it should not be an obstacle, said Mr Yuthasak.

In addition to visa issues, the private sector also agreed to ask the CCSA to lift restrictions on night entertainment hours.

They also support the idea of promoting Thailand as a mask-free destination by ending the mask mandate in all areas.

Temperature checks at all locations should be stopped as experience has shown this measure cannot identify those infected with the virus, said the representatives.

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Vocabulary

  • citizen: someone who has the right to live permanently in a particular country - พลเมือง 
  • consulate: the building where a government official works who is sent to live in another country and look after his/her own country’s citizens and business interests there - สถานกงสุล
  • exemption: permission to not have to do something, such as making a payment, following a rule, etc. - ข้อยกเว้น
  • extension: making a period of time longer - การขยายออกไป
  • inconvenience: an annoying problem or situation, especially one that forces you to make an extra effort to do something - ความไม่สะดวกสบาย  ความลำบาก
  • insufficient: not enough - ไม่เพียงพอ
  • mandate: an official order to do something - คำสั่ง
  • measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ
  • obstacle: a difficulty or problem that prevents you from achieving something - อุปสรรค ขวากหนาม
  • proposal: a plan or suggestion for a group to consider - ข้อเสนอ
  • representatives (noun): people who have been chosen or elected by a person or group to vote, give opinions, or make decisions for them - ผู้แทน
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