The government has further relaxed its tourist visa requirements and shortened the standard time required for approving visas for Chinese visitors in a bid to make the process easier for people visiting the country.
Last week alone, 95,581 Chinese arrived in Thailand, representing the largest proportion of international visitors, followed by Malaysians (73,810), South Koreans (37,754), Indians (27,707) and Vietnamese (25,717), deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said on Thursday.
Under the newly relaxed visa requirements, Chinese visitors to Thailand are required to submit along with their visa application just six documents, namely their passport, three photographs, an air ticket, a document showing their accommodation in Thailand, a document certifying their permanent residence, and financial statements, she said.
This will truncate the application process from 14 to seven working days, she noted.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports are also working to sync their tourist visa application database systems to speed up the process for all foreign visitors, Ms Rachada said.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was impressed by the steady growth in the number of tourists visiting Thailand, particularly during the long holiday from July 31 to Aug 6, when the country welcomed 80,000 international visitors each day on average, she added.
The cumulative number of international tourists visiting Thailand since the beginning of this year has already hit 16 million, with those from Malaysia, China, South Korea, India and Russia ranking as the top five countries.