Officials consider visa-free entry for Chinese

Officials consider visa-free entry for Chinese

Speedboats wait for tourists on Pattaya beach, Chon Buri. (Photo by Chaiyot Pupattanapong)
Speedboats wait for tourists on Pattaya beach, Chon Buri. (Photo by Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

Tourism officials are again proposing visa-free entry for Chinese citizens as part of a tourism revival scheme.

Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said the number of international tourist arrivals during Feb 1-9 fell by 43.4% year-on-year to 730,213 as the number of Chinese tourists plunged 86.6%.

Mr Phiphat said the Chinese market is likely to drop by 90% in February. But if the virus containment is effective and the Chinese government lifts its travel ban before the end of March, there's a strong possibility that mainland tourists will return during Songkran in April, he said.

Mr Phiphat said visa-free entry for two major tourist markets, Chinese and Indians, is an essential measure that will ease congestion at crowded airports.

"We plan to resubmit the visa-free policy to the cabinet in April, as the exemption for 2,000-baht visa-on-arrival (VOA) fees will end on April 30, but on the condition that the Chinese authorities handle the outbreak first," he said.

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Vocabulary

  • congestion: a situation in which a place is crowded with people or vehicles - แน่นขนัดไปด้วยรถหรือคน
  • containment: the process of controlling a situation or substance that could become harmful or dangerous - การควบคุมไว้
  • essential: necessary - ที่จำเป็น
  • exemption: permission to not have to do something, such as making a payment, following a rule, etc. - ข้อยกเว้น
  • lift: to end a warning, a restriction, etc. - ยกเลิก
  • measure: a firm action taken to solve a problem or stop a dangerous unpleasant situation - มาตราการ
  • outbreak: the sudden start of a disease - การระบาดของโรค
  • plunge: to move or fall suddenly - ลงอย่างเร็ว, (อุณหภูมิ)

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