Thailand has announced Visa-Free Travel to Thailand a major decision to attract more tourists from India and Taiwan. The Southeast Asian country will allow visitors from these two nations to enter without a visa for six months, starting from November 10, 2023, to May 10, 2024. This is part of Thailand’s efforts to boost its tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for Indian travelers, who enjoy its beaches, temples, nightlife, and shopping. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, India was the fourth largest source market for tourism in 2023, with about 1.2 million arrivals. Thailand hopes to increase this number by offering visa-free entry to Indian tourists, who can stay for up to 30 days in the country.
Taiwan is another important market for Thailand, with more than 600,000 visitors in 2023. Taiwan has been praised for its successful handling of the COVID-19 outbreak and has maintained low infection rates and deaths. Taiwan’s citizens can also benefit from the visa waiver scheme and explore Thailand’s culture, cuisine, and nature.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said that the visa exemption was aimed at accelerating the return of holidaymakers and restoring tourism revenue to pre-pandemic levels. Thailand has welcomed more than 20 million foreign tourists so far this year and expects to reach 28 million by the end of 2023. China and Kazakhstan are also eligible for visa-free entry to Thailand until February 29, 2024.
Thailand’s tourism sector accounts for about 20% of its gross domestic product (GDP), and is a key driver of its economic growth. However, the Covid-19 crisis has severely affected the industry, causing losses of billions of dollars and millions of jobs. Thailand hopes that by easing travel restrictions and offering incentives to tourists, it can revive its economy and regain its status as a global tourism hub.