Thailand has introduced a visa waiver for Indian tourists, granting a 30-day visa-free stay for leisure purposes to individuals holding Indian passports or travel documents.
The new measure entered into force on November 10, 2023, and will be effective until May 10, 2024, VisaGuide.World reports.
Following the decision, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) also organized an exclusive reception at Suvarnabhumi Airport to mark the arrival of IndiGo Flight 6E 1639 from New Delhi, India. According to local media, this ceremonial welcome reflected Thailand’s commitment to simplifying visa and immigration processes for global travelers, a strong focus during the peak travel season.
Considering similar schemes for Chinese and Russian tourists, this short-term visa exemption is designed to boost tourism from India, a key market for Thailand that ranks among its top ten sources.
The increase in Indian tourist arrivals during the first ten months of this year, a remarkable increase of 86 percent compared to the same period in 2022, reached 1,302,483 visitors. With the implementation of the visa waiver, the TAT expects to welcome around 1.6 million Indian tourists in 2023, anticipating a projected revenue of 65.6 billion Baht.
In particular, Indian tourists, with an average daily spending of 5,500 baht per person and an average stay of 7-8 days, contribute significantly to sectors such as weddings, golf, and incentive travel.
In September this year, Thai authorities planned to ease visa regulations for visitors from India and China. In this regard, the new Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, emphasized his desire to expand the list of visa-exempt countries and to extend the length of stay for international travelers.
However, currently, Indian tourists are required to pay 2,000 baht ($57) for a 15-day visa upon arrival.
Earlier this month, Thailand also announced that in a bid to boost tourism, it will waive visa requirements for visitors from India and Taiwan from next month until May 2024. This follows a similar decision last year when Thailand eliminated visa requirements for visitors from China and Kazakhstan until February 29, 2024.
The TAT predicts that implementing the visa waiver program will attract around 700,000 new arrivals to the country.
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