To stimulate tourism, Thailand plans to eliminate visa requirements for travelers arriving from India and Taiwan starting next month until May 2024, according to a government official’s announcement on Tuesday, October 31.
“Arrivals from India and Taiwan can enter Thailand for 30 days,” spokesperson Chai Wacharonke said.
Thailand had scrapped visa requirements for Chinese tourists in September this year.
China ranked first in Bangkok’s pre-pandemic tourism market with 11 million of the record 39 million arrivals in 2019.
As per the latest government data, nearly 22 million people visited Thailand from January to October 29, generating 927.5 billion baht ($25.67 billion).
India, Thailand’s fourth largest source market for tourism
So far this year, India has been Thailand’s fourth largest source market for tourism with nearly 1.2 million arrivals after countries like Malaysia, China and South Korea.
With more airlines and hospitality chains targeting the market, inbound tourism from India exhibited signs of growth.
Thailand is aiming at about 28 million arrivals in 2023, with the new government hoping the travel sector can compensate for continued weak exports that have restrained economic growth.
Last week, in a similar move, Sri Lanka had announced visa-free entry for India as well as six other countries, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand, in a bid to boost tourism with immediate effect until March 21, 2024.
The country’s foreign affairs minister Ali Sabry made the announcement on Tuesday (Oct 24) on social media platform X.
“Cabinet approves issuing of free visas to India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia & Thailand with immediate effect as a pilot project till 31 March,” he said.