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Tourism Ministry Proposes Waiving Visa Fees For 6 Months


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it is impossible to operate at less than costs for any length of time.

Already most businesses have been operating at a loss and now they are proposing that they operate at a further loss?

This is what is happening in the World - companies and businesses are operating at a loss, shedding staff, downsizing, closing value added services and some eventually closing the doors for a few months or permanently.

The more you prop up this failing system the more it fails.

THis is all smoke and mirrors and at the end of the day there is a bill!

A real bill for rents, wages, resources - whos going to pay?

devalue the baht 20% immediately

and BTW

good luck

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Entry point at airports should stamp 90 days and not 30 days as currently. Both Malaysia and Singapore issue Social Visit Passes for 90 days. If I come for business meetings to Malaysia or Singapore my social visit pass is enough for business meetings and transactions in both countries for 90 days. I get now 15 days if I travel by road to Thailand. Any way I don't want to complain and the waiving of the fees for visas for 3 months is a good move forward.

Ticket prices could go down and THAI could push Star Alliance for their partner airlines. For Songkran they could all increase rates to keep locals travel in the country side.

Edited by MobileContent
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I would like them to reduce the outrageous fee of 800,000 baht, charged for people obtaining a retirement visa. It seems far out of proportion to the quota married farang have to have, and thai/farang couples. This year with the drastic exchange rate I can't get my retirement visa. I came here because I couldn't afford to live in my home country and it is getting so that I cannot afford to live here either.

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all of the proposals are very positive and to be welcomed if they do do them.

Sure. My british neighbor was telling me yesterday (he was thinking about summer holidays in Thailand) : "My God, I'm not sure. They give me 30 days at the airport... so something even more free would definitely convince me to travel to Thailand. Yeah, for instance a free 3 months visa that I don't need would definitely help me to take a decision".

:o

Poor Thailand. With such "ministers" the road is going to be long. And steep.

Maybe the suggestion was made by the newly appointed government advisor, anounced last night, who just happens the be a leader of the PAD.

Which would be ironic as it was the PAD who was instrumental in destroying the tourist industries.

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I would like them to reduce the outrageous fee of 800,000 baht, charged for people obtaining a retirement visa. It seems far out of proportion to the quota married farang have to have, and thai/farang couples. This year with the drastic exchange rate I can't get my retirement visa. I came here because I couldn't afford to live in my home country and it is getting so that I cannot afford to live here either.

I'm in the same case.

How can we do?

Lobbying?

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I would like them to reduce the outrageous fee of 800,000 baht, charged for people obtaining a retirement visa. It seems far out of proportion to the quota married farang have to have, and thai/farang couples. This year with the drastic exchange rate I can't get my retirement visa. I came here because I couldn't afford to live in my home country and it is getting so that I cannot afford to live here either.

The THB 800,000 is not a fee; you need to have it in your own Thai bank account at least 90 days prior to yearly renewal. Also, if you're retired, you might have a pension -- proof of funds can be a combination of cash in account + pension income...

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TOURISM PROPOSALS

Waive visa fees, cut air fares: Tourism and Sports Ministry

proposed measures

Among the main target markets are China, India, the Middle East, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan.

Does anybody from the 'target markets' read Thai Visa? Does this proposal have anything to do with expats? Are farang tourists, for some unknown reasons OR known reasons, not valued like guests on the Minister's list?

some things make you hmmmmm...

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This is good news/spin - the minister is giving tourists the impression that things will be cheaper.

Air prices cheaper - excellent

National park pricing - get rid of two tier rates - I don't mind paying a fee - tourists expect to pay money

The idea is to make LOS a desired destination

If it gets people travelling to Thailand after the troubles then great!

Orchidqueen - the 800000 baht is to show that you can support yourself instead of relying on the Thai taxpayers to fund your retirement - other countries also need to know if retirees can support themselves.

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I think the best way to increase tourism would be to allow for longer tourist visas. I know plenty of people who have done the whole Laos border thing and they always have colorful stories about the experience. I know that I will definitely not be doing that and instead I will be visiting other countries for 3 months at a time just to avoid it. Since my experience may be a little different than most, i might be just talking about myself but I am going to take a 2 year holiday from working and instead of being able to just relax in Thailand, I am spending at least half of that 2 years in OTHER beaches, in OTHER overpopulated cities, spending my vacations dollars in other currencies. Really, what is a $100 visa discount on my 2 year holiday gonna do. I don't mean to be sour but I am currently talking to the local Embassy trying to figure out options for a longer stay and it is a little frustrating. They are nice and helpful. I don't mean to take away from the local office. I just wish they had some better options to offer me. Sorry in advance if this seems to rant a bit.

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I would like them to reduce the outrageous fee of 800,000 baht, charged for people obtaining a retirement visa. It seems far out of proportion to the quota married farang have to have, and thai/farang couples. This year with the drastic exchange rate I can't get my retirement visa. I came here because I couldn't afford to live in my home country and it is getting so that I cannot afford to live here either.

I'm in the same case.

How can we do?

Lobbying?

Some past advice, for those who have lost out in their homelands and are losing out in Thailand is to go to the Philippines. Theft is higher there but it doesn't sound like you will have to worry about that too much.

Anyway this Post is about how the Thai Government is going to attract east and mid east tourists. Lobby your homeland for higher welfare rates!

The water has gone from the beaches and the tsunami is on the horizon. When fuel prices go back up and credit card companies fall apart there will be a REAL economic crisis. People should PREPARE for tighter visa restrictions for residency, not laxer.

I say this with all good intentions. LOOK OUT!!!

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Hey here is a GREAT IDEA... why not in the future, think about not to have any coups, or blockade airports then there will be no need to "Give away the farm"!!!!

there is already talk of anti govt protesting against the foreign minister if he doesnt resign..... enough is enough !!

SOM NOM NA

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I would like them to reduce the outrageous fee of 800,000 baht, charged for people obtaining a retirement visa.

If you paid an 800,000 baht fee for your retirement visa, I think your Immigration office had a very nice New Years Eve party with it, because most others paid a lot less.

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I would like them to reduce the outrageous fee of 800,000 baht, charged for people obtaining a retirement visa.

I'm in the same case.

How can we do?

Lobbying?

Gee... some of these Immigration offices must have hellilicous New Years Eve Parties.

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I would like them to reduce the outrageous fee of 800,000 baht, charged for people obtaining a retirement visa.

If you paid an 800,000 baht fee for your retirement visa, I think your Immigration office had a very nice New Years Eve party with it, because most others paid a lot less.

Most others payed 1,900 Baht :o

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No need to waive entrance fees to National parks - just charge 1 price for all, instead of dual pricing

Well said. On a recent trip to Sukhothai I told the cashier on the desk that I worked in Thailand and paid tax. I also showed ID etc to prove that I was not a tourist. Other places have seen sense and allowed me the Thai rate. On this occasion I still had to pay the full tourist price. In the UK if you have to pay to go into an historical place of interest, everyone pays the same price - with the exception of children/OAPs who get a concession. It doesn't matter if your British or foreign, everyone pays the same. I also know of occasions where friends and colleagues have refused to pay the entry fee because they felt that the system was unfair, so these places are losing money anyway for having a duel pricing system. They felt that it was unfair as a Thai millionaire can enter for a few baht but they, as a working, tax paying farang, would have had to have paid a far more. Foreiner tax. I sent an e-mail to the TAT asking about this an have not received a reply...I can't say I'm surprised.

1 price for all, you know it makes sense.

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2 friends want to go to Bangkok and Phuket in Feb

They are asking prices 4 times what we paid 2 years ago and have said they will not reduce the price

rather have a 1/3 full hotel

Seems to me the hotels are not hurting that much

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Very good point,49.7 baht to the gbp is reducing tourists coming to Thailand
Nothing to do with the Thai Baht, has more to do with the steady decline of the GBP ever since WWII compared to all other major currencies (although accelerated the last few months).

Okay a step in the right direction. Isn't changing the border run extension from 30 to 15 days looking stupid right now? With this world economy they should be happy to have anyone with a few hundred bucks to spend.

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The proposals include waiving visa fees, cutting air fares, and reducing airport charges.

1/ Among the measures proposed to revive sector, the ministry will urge Thai Airways International and other carriers to cut fares by 50 per cent to encourage more advanced bookings.

2/ It is also urging the government to waive visa fees for tourists from all countries for six months, with a possible extension of a further six months.

3/ The ministry has also asked the government to reduce value-added tax on hotel room rates for one year, and Airports of Thailand to reduce landing and parking fees at the country's international airports in a bid to persuade more airlines to restore their Thai operations.

4/ Other measures would require government organisations to adjust their budgets for outside meetings and seminars so as to boost domestic tourism

5/ plus a proposal that private companies' tax refunds for meetings and conferences be doubled.

6/ Moreover, hotel operators have asked for an exemption from the annual fee of Bt80 per room they have to pay to the Revenue Department.

7/ Banks, meanwhile, will be encouraged to extend debt-repayment periods for operators in the tourism sector for three years.

8/ The Ministry also plans to promote the major destinations of Phuket, Krabi, and Phang Nga for local tourism by reducing airport taxes and surcharges.

9/ In addition, all national parks should play their part by waiving entrance fees for three years.

Looks to be lots of spin and public relations, along with lots of nice benefits for government employees.

Going through them one by one.

1/ Cutting air fares 50%, its already been mentioned but lets go over it again. Airlines have many fares for a single class, eg Economy can be Y fare, or H fare, or M fare, or Q fare and so many others. When they say "slash by 50%" they mean generally they will slash the full fare economy ticket 50%, meaning really they are simply making more discount seats of H,M.Q available. Means nothing, most tourists only pay the reduced fare anyway, not the full fare.

2/ Visa Fee's, for most of the "high spenders" they get in visa free anyway. Visa fee's are not prohibitive either, they are just a tiny amount of cash, not going to "drive more tourists to come" is it.

3/VAT on hotel rooms, never will be passed on to customers, this is just a measure to help support the hotel business - lots of rich people now losing money with their hotel business...........so its an assistance to the rich, not a drive for more tourists.

Reducing landing and parking fee's - well perhaps those idiots should not have shut the airports in the first place. As it is, with tourism world wide falling, and with discount tickets being more and more the norm, why should airlines put on more "loss making" flights to Thailand ? This move is simply trying to get more tourists by saying if more planes come, more tourists will. Wrong at this time, more planes would simply be less full. A measure that would help later in the cycle, but not now.

4/ Government agencies to adjust budgets to SPEND SPEND SPEND...........so rather than having a meeting in their office in downtown Bangkok, save money in difficult times, put more money into education and healthcare, lets get those Democrat meetings moved to Phuket, Krabi, Rayong, at 5 star resorts, all expenses paid..........yeeeehaaaaa....we are back in power and now its time to spend all that money like we used to ehhhhh :o

5/ Private companies - thats up to them. Going to help 5 star hotels reduce losess or make more profits - if that helps, apart from helping the hotel owner. Going to reduce government income.

6/ See item 3, not going to be passed on to guests, going to have no benefit apart from helping the rich owners reduce their losses or make more profits.

7/ No problem with that - but did the Democrats not criticise the PPP/TRT for extending debt repayment periods for farmers ??????? LOL

8/ Yes, lets promote those southern Demcorat strongholds of support............sod the North.

9/ Do you know anyone who visits Thailand to look at "National Parks" ? Not going to make very much difference.

So lots of talk, but in all reality they will suffer because :

A/ Credit crisis, worldwide recession. Get used to it........its here to stay for some time yet.

B/ Thailand is seen as a dangerous place where the military and police have no control, they could not even between them stop the airports being taken by a bunch of loonies.

C/ Crime is rising in Thailand as item A takes hold, added to item B there is too much insecurity in the eyes of the world.

D/ Government now has PAD associations in it and working for it, adding to the "Mickey Mouse" feel of things.

E/ Baht strength - the Baht has been strengthened to a stage now where Thailand is not "attractive" as a "value" tourist destination.

F/ Airport closures by the loonies - will take people a very long time to forget it, and given all the other items that time may be more than 2 or 3 years.

You only have to look at the airports, eerily quite empty most of the time now (apart from the usual rush periods of Monday and Friday, and even those rush periods are not as hectic as they used to be)

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No need to waive entrance fees to National parks - just charge 1 price for all, instead of dual pricing

Well said. On a recent trip to Sukhothai I told the cashier on the desk that I worked in Thailand and paid tax. I also showed ID etc to prove that I was not a tourist. Other places have seen sense and allowed me the Thai rate. On this occasion I still had to pay the full tourist price. In the UK if you have to pay to go into an historical place of interest, everyone pays the same price - with the exception of children/OAPs who get a concession. It doesn't matter if your British or foreign, everyone pays the same. I also know of occasions where friends and colleagues have refused to pay the entry fee because they felt that the system was unfair, so these places are losing money anyway for having a duel pricing system. They felt that it was unfair as a Thai millionaire can enter for a few baht but they, as a working, tax paying farang, would have had to have paid a far more. Foreiner tax. I sent an e-mail to the TAT asking about this an have not received a reply...I can't say I'm surprised.

1 price for all, you know it makes sense.

There have been thousands of Topics and Threads discussing your complaints.

This Topic is about the Thais going after the 'desirable' tourists.

"the main target markets are China, India, the Middle East, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan."

It does NOT surprise me they are NOT going after farang tourists. They want tourists not those who want to cheap out here for the rest of their lives. That is the ROOT of this Topic.

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Its window dressing tinkering, but it's a step in the right direction, and nice to have some good news !

Why don't they just make entrance fees the same for foriegners as it is for Thai's,

rather than wiping them completely.

Sounds good but TIT! I think what you will see will not help tourism at all, Thais will be allowed in for free and Farangs will still have to pay double!

Chris

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No need to waive entrance fees to National parks - just charge 1 price for all, instead of dual pricing

Well said. On a recent trip to Sukhothai I told the cashier on the desk that I worked in Thailand and paid tax. I also showed ID etc to prove that I was not a tourist. Other places have seen sense and allowed me the Thai rate. On this occasion I still had to pay the full tourist price.

I think you'll find that's the case in the majority of Parks when considering all of them system-wide. Some don't, but they are more the exception, rather than the rule (after visiting 25-plus of the Parks). It is an unfair system. (don't get me started, however, as this is mainly about the visas aspect).

Edited by sriracha john
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2 friends want to go to Bangkok and Phuket in Feb

They are asking prices 4 times what we paid 2 years ago and have said they will not reduce the price

rather have a 1/3 full hotel

Seems to me the hotels are not hurting that much

Encourage them to shop around. I don't think all of them have that attitude.

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