In order to stimulate the economy and tourism, Thailand is now making it easier for citizens from China to enter the country. As of today, holidaymakers from the People's Republic are allowed to stay in the popular holiday country visa-free for 30 days, as the Thai Tourist Office (TAT) announced. The measure, which the new government under Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has decreed, will apply for five months.
At the airports in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai, among others, the first arrivals were greeted with jubilation with cultural performances, flower leis and gifts, including trousers with elephant motifs, which are popular with tourists. The head of government personally came to Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok - which shows how important China is to the Thai tourism sector.
The new rule will allow vacationers to save time and money on visa fees, "making it easier to decide to travel to Thailand," the tourism authority said. The country's most famous places and islands are expecting a huge rush in the coming weeks: According to TAT, 1.9 to 2.9 million guests from China are expected by the end of February, which translates into between 2.4 and 3.6 billion euros to flush the cash registers.
Before the corona pandemic, eleven million Chinese traveled to Thailand in 2019. They made up more than a quarter of all international guests. Since China's borders were closed for a long time, the rush has not yet started again - to the concern of the authorities. The abolition of the visa requirement comes at a good time: the People's Republic celebrates the "Golden Week" at the beginning of October. Travel is very popular during the national holiday week.