Visa exemptions yet to prove effective for Thailand's tourism

By VNA   November 10, 2023 | 03:32 pm PT
Visa exemptions yet to prove effective for Thailand's tourism
Tourists visit the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, on Jan. 7, 2023. Photo by Reuters
Despite the offer of visa exemptions, the numbers of Chinese, Taiwanese and Indian tourists to Thailand have yet to record a quick recovery because of several economic factors, according to Thai tourism operators.

Thanet Supornsahasrungsi, former president of the Chon Buri Tourism Council and group executive director of Sunshine Hotels and Resorts, said the Thai government granted visa exemptions for Chinese visitors from Sept. 25, but the impact of this strategy has been muted as some Chinese view Thailand as unsafe and the mainland has posted weak economic growth.

The slow resumption of flights has also affected travel to Thailand, Thanet said.

According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the Southeast Asian nation welcomed 283,179 Chinese visitors in September and 290,911 in October.

As of Nov. 7, the country served 2.84 million Chinese tourists, while those from Taiwan and India totalled nearly 596,000 and 1.31 million.

Thanet said it is unlikely the Chinese market will reach 4 million arrivals this year. Thailand has set the target of 5 million Chinese visitors for 2023.

Prachoom Tantiprasertsuk, chairperson for marketing at the Thai Hotels Association said the impact from the visa exemptions might be more evident during the second quarter of 2024 as more corporations and tourists opt for Thailand because of this entry privilege.

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