Thailand plans concerts, visa-free travel to boost tourism

By Reuters   February 22, 2024 | 05:05 pm PT
Thailand plans concerts, visa-free travel to boost tourism
Fireworks explode over Wat Arun of the Temple of the Dawn during the New Year celebrations, in Bangkok, Thailand, on Jan. 1, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Thursday that his government plans to roll out more measures to boost tourism, including incentives to lure global artistes to stimulate Southeast Asia’s second-biggest economy.

Speaking at a government forum, he said the tourism industry was expected to grow enormously over the next four years, as it recovers from record lows caused by the pandemic.

Srettha also mentioned musician Taylor Swift’s highly anticipated, sold-out concerts in Singapore in March, saying Thailand should aim for similar events.

"We can bring A-listers and world-class acts to Thailand. This must be done," he said.

He added the government will offer visa-free travel, change the rules on drinking alcohol at concerts, and adjust operating hours of entertainment venues and when alcohol can be sold.

Thailand has waived visas for citizens of China, India and other countries in an effort to attract tourism dollars.

It received about 28 million foreign tourists in 2023 versus a record of nearly 40 million pre-pandemic, with spending of 1.91 trillion baht. In 2024, the government expects about 34 to 35 million foreign visitors.

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