30-day visa on arrival for Saudi visitors

30-day visa on arrival for Saudi visitors

Visitors from Saudi Arabia arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport on Feb 28 as direct commercial flights resumed after a 32-year hiatus. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Visitors from Saudi Arabia arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport on Feb 28 as direct commercial flights resumed after a 32-year hiatus. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The cabinet on Tuesday resolved to allow Saudi Arabian visitors to get an extended 30-day visa on arrival, to help stimulate the economy.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said after the cabinet meeting at Government House that holders of Saudi Arabian passports could arrive and stay in the country for up to 30 days without having to apply for a visa  beforehand.

The decision was considered as a further development of successful efforts by the government and the private sector to restore bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia. This had already led to bilateral cooperation on food and labour exports and flights between Bangkok and Riyadh, Gen Prayut said.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said Saudi Arabians could previously get a 15-day visa on arrival. The cabinet resolution should increase the number of arrivals from Saudi Arabia to 100,000-150,000 a year.

Previously, Riyadh had allowed about 30,000 Saudi visitors to Thailand each year, she said.

The government was trying to attract visitors to boost the economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and Saudi Arabians were quality tourists who spent a lot and usually arrived in big family groups, Ms Traisuree said.

It was anticipated they would spend at least 5 billion baht a year, she said. 

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