Thailand declares entry without the need for a visa
Thailand is set to implement a six-month trial period starting next month during which it will offer visa-free entry to tourists from India and Taiwan. The primary objective behind this move is to reinvigorate Thailand’s tourism sector, which has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thailand heavily relies on its tourism industry, accounting for nearly 20% of the country’s GDP. However, its recovery has been challenging since the onset of the pandemic. Indian and Taiwanese tourists hold substantial importance in this context, and the government is aiming to attract more visitors from these countries by introducing the visa-free entry program.
Previously, tourists from India and Taiwan were required to apply for a 15-day visa-on-arrival at immigration checkpoints. Under the new scheme, they can stay in Thailand for up to 30 days without the need for a visa. A similar visa-free program for Chinese tourists was introduced by the government in September.
The Thai government anticipates that this initiative for Indian and Taiwanese tourists will bring in an additional 1.4 million visitors and generate an extra income of 55 billion baht ($1.5 billion). In the first nine months of 2023, Thailand welcomed around 1.2 million Indian visitors, making India the fourth-largest source of tourists for the country. The government is confident that the visa-free entry scheme will further boost the number of Indian visitors.
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who assumed office in August, has made the revitalization of the tourism sector a top priority for his administration. He believes that the introduction of the visa-free entry program for Indian and Taiwanese tourists is a positive step toward achieving this goal.