Thailand extends visas to Kazakh tourists for six more monthsLegacy

Kazakh tourists will continue to enjoy a visa-free scheme in Thailand for an additional six months, following an extension by the Thai Cabinet. The exemption, applicable to those carrying Kazakhstani passports or equivalent documents, is now due to run from March 1 to August 31, according to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

“As per our records, each Kazakh tourist spends roughly 75,000 baht on average, compared to the general tourist expenditure of about 45,000 baht each.”

The visa-free initiative was first rolled out last year, between September 25 and February 29, as part of a strategic move to stimulate tourism. The scheme was simultaneously applied to Chinese visitors, and as a result, both Thai and Chinese governments agreed to make the visa exemption a permanent arrangement from March 1 onwards.

In the past year, Thailand recorded an influx of approximately 172,000 Kazakh visitors, a notable increase in the country’s tourism figures, reported Bangkok Post.

Last week, the 61 year old Thai prime minister revealed the government’s intent to extend visa-free travel to citizens of several additional countries. This development follows Thailand’s recent decision to waive visas for Chinese and Indian citizens, an attempt to stimulate the tourism sector, a vital component of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

During Wednesday’s meeting at Government House, PM Srettha and Australia’s Governor-General, David Hurley, contemplated the idea of implementing a reciprocal visa exemption scheme. The initiative aims to ease travel and business activities between the two nations’ citizens.

Additionally, the Thai government expressed hope for visa-free travel arrangements with the Schengen-visa states of Europe. The Thai PM made this disclosure on Monday.

Last year, Thailand attracted approximately 28 million foreign tourists, generating a revenue of 1.2 trillion baht. However, these figures fall significantly short of the nearly 40 million visitors and 1.9 trillion baht income achieved in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic. These statistics were provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

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Author: Mitch Connor