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Thailand approves extension of free tourist visas to August 2017


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Thailand approves extension of free tourist visas to August 2017

 

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BANGKOK: -- Thailand’s Cabinet has approved to extend the current free visa incentives for foreign tourists for another six months.

 

Under the measures, visa fees will be waived at Thai embassies and consulates until August 2017, while the visa on arrival fee will continue to be 1,000 baht.

 

On Tuesday, government spokesperson Sansern Kaewkamnerd said that waiving visa fees from December to February 28 had resulted in a 12% increase in foreign tourist arrivals.

 

The move to waive visa fees was first introduced on December 1 2016 and came after a sudden decrease in arrivals from China following last year’s crackdown on zero dollar tours, with number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand plummeting by 30 percent.

 

The continuation of the offering free tourist visas for all nationalities is also hoped to give Thailand’s tourism industry a boost as it heads into what is traditionally the low season.

 

 
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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2017-02-08




 

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While good news i wonder does this actually stimulate tourism? Is the 25USD for the visa really a decision maker if you will fly half around the world on a 2 week holiday considering the other costs associated with it?

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2 minutes ago, morocco said:

So I can extend my 60 day tourist visa for 30 more days free of charge?

No

Only the visa is free at a embassy or consulate. You still have to pay 1900 baht for the 30 day extension of the 60 day entry from one.

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No
Only the visa is free at a embassy or consulate. You still have to pay 1900 baht for the 30 day extension of the 60 day entry from one.

Thanks for the info.


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40 minutes ago, Jackie66 said:

While good news i wonder does this actually stimulate tourism? Is the 25USD for the visa really a decision maker if you will fly half around the world on a 2 week holiday considering the other costs associated with it?

USD40 isn't it?  Point taken though.  Just the "advertising value" of a free visa may act as a lure for some, particularly if you were planning a visit to another country in the region and just wanted to add-on a period in Thailand to say you'd been there.   I think Thailand is perhaps beginning to regret having short-sightedly chased off the western tourist trade in favor of the Chinese.  It'll take a whole lot more than free visas to lure them back in any numbers though, other than the backpacker crowd maybe.

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16 minutes ago, hawker9000 said:

USD40 isn't it?  Point taken though.  Just the "advertising value" of a free visa may act as a lure for some, particularly if you were planning a visit to another country in the region and just wanted to add-on a period in Thailand to say you'd been there.   I think Thailand is perhaps beginning to regret having short-sightedly chased off the western tourist trade in favor of the Chinese.  It'll take a whole lot more than free visas to lure them back in any numbers though, other than the backpacker crowd maybe.

 

How have they "chased off" the western tourist trade exactly? they didn't chase it off at all, westerners were/are always welcome and indeed still come in vast numbers

 

What they did do was concentrate on a massive (Chinese) market and they still come in great numbers despite the cutting of the zero $ tours, 

 

Whilst they did this they may have given less time to promoting Thailand to the west but they certainly didn't chase off anyone, 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jackie66 said:

While good news i wonder does this actually stimulate tourism? Is the 25USD for the visa really a decision maker if you will fly half around the world on a 2 week holiday considering the other costs associated with it?

Desperate measures for desperate times.

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6 minutes ago, louse1953 said:

Isn't the VOA free for most western countries?

You seem to be writing about a 30 day visa exempt entry which is not a visa on arrival. A visa on arrival only allows a 15 day day entry after applying for it and paying the fee.

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I'm yet to hear or learn of another country who has

such a confusing and archaic

visa rules and laws, they move the goal posts anytime

they like with no rhyme or

reasons ( or reasons that make sense to them only )

the results are that you need to navigate the quagmire of Thailand's visas and permits like pirate on the high seas....

 

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2 hours ago, webfact said:

 

The move to waive visa fees was first introduced on December 1 2016 and came after a sudden decrease in arrivals from China following last year’s crackdown on zero dollar tours..........

 

Zero visa fees will probably stimulate more zero dollar tours.

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11 minutes ago, heybuz said:

brisbane australia consul has not been informed yet.

not pleasant talking to over phone either. got lecture on border runs, which i have never done

 

That is because it is honorary Thai consulate and the only revenue they get is from visa fees. Some honorary consulates are doing a service charge to issue the free visas.

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Just now, ubonjoe said:

That is because it is honorary Thai consulate and the only revenue they get is from visa fees. Some honorary consulates are doing a service charge to issue the free visas.

no free there just extension of visa free period they are unaware of

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12 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

You seem to be writing about a 30 day visa exempt entry which is not a visa on arrival. A visa on arrival only allows a 15 day day entry after applying for it and paying the fee.

Arh,terminolgy got me.

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We had our SETV issued by Brisbane Consulate last week.

Dropped the paperwork in on Wednesday, passports arrived, visa issued, on Friday.

No charge for the visa.

Very pleasant and helpful young ladies dealt with our application.

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3 minutes ago, alant said:

THe UK does not follow this, they give you a discount is my friends experience.

It would of been free if they had applied at the embassy in London. The honorary consulates charge a fee to issue the visa which I think is 10 pounds at some of them.

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49 minutes ago, darrendsd said:

 

How have they "chased off" the western tourist trade exactly? they didn't chase it off at all, westerners were/are always welcome and indeed still come in vast numbers

 

What they did do was concentrate on a massive (Chinese) market and they still come in great numbers despite the cutting of the zero $ tours, 

 

Whilst they did this they may have given less time to promoting Thailand to the west but they certainly didn't chase off anyone, 

 

 

 

I was in Macau recently and noticed a significant increase in the number of Indians in the Casinos, I commented on this to my Brother in law who is a senior exec at one of the casinos and he said they (the Casino) had been doing a major ad campaign to encourage visitors from India.   Visitors numbers from China had fallen because of Chinese Govt crackdowns and the Casinos are looking for new markets.

India has a large number of wealthy people and a growing middle class that want to travel.   

Don't be too surprised when Thailand catches on and starts promoting itself to India as well.

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8 minutes ago, seancbk said:

 

I was in Macau recently and noticed a significant increase in the number of Indians in the Casinos, I commented on this to my Brother in law who is a senior exec at one of the casinos and he said they (the Casino) had been doing a major ad campaign to encourage visitors from India.   Visitors numbers from China had fallen because of Chinese Govt crackdowns and the Casinos are looking for new markets.

India has a large number of wealthy people and a growing middle class that want to travel.   

Don't be too surprised when Thailand catches on and starts promoting itself to India as well.

 

I won't be surprised, tourism is a business and businesses promote themselves

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December saw an obvious slump in tourists in HH, anybody who has spent enough time here could have seen that. I must say that February is starting to look as if it is compensating though with a large influx of tourists at restaurants, bars and the beaches. Thailand needs to do a little more than simply waver a visa fee imho 

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On whether the cost of Visas have any effect on tourism.  With the family off to Vietnam for a week I have just paid $360 AUS to the local embassy.  I could have reduced this by about eighty dollars by doing a visa on arrival but still a real cost of travel.  This certainly equates to a couple of nights in a decent hotel in BKK.

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it is only for visitors from 21 countries: Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan

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