An estimated 17.5 million tourists visited Thailand during this year’s first seven months, accounting for a 30.7 percent rise from the same period last year.[Photo/Xinhua]
An increased number of Chinese and Indian travelers are expected to visit Thailand, given a multiple visa to the Southeast Asian country, said Tourism & Sport Minister Kobkarn Watanawarangkura on Monday.
The multiple visa which will be provided for a period of six months during which travelers to Thailand may visit as many times as they wish if they pay 5,000 baht (about $143) in fee, compared to the ordinary visa which currently charges 1,000 baht (about $28.5) in fee to pay for each visit.
“Though we earlier planned to provide a multiple visa for a 12- month period, we eventually decided to give a six-month period which should be considered a good start.”
“It will likely prompt more of the quality, high-end tourists from China and India to come over, especially on weekends,” Kobkarn said.
The multiple visa which is currently pending cabinet approval is believed to be effective later this month, she said.
An estimated 17.5 million tourists visited Thailand during this year’s first seven months, accounting for a 30.7 percent rise from the same period last year and generating some $23 billion in tourism-related earnings, according to the tourism minister.
About 28 million tourists, up to 6 million of whom from China, are expected to visit the country throughout this year.
Kobkarn said most are believed to have increased purchasing powers and afforded to repeat their visits in the six-month period provided under the multiple visa.
She added that the visitors will be suggested not only to visit such world-renowned destinations as Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai and Bangkok but others which “must not be missed out.”
Those minor tourist spots include Petchaboon and Nan in northern Thailand, Loei and Buriram in the northeastern region, Trat and Chantaburi in the eastern region, Samut Songkram and Ratchaburi in the western region and Nakorn Sri Thammarat and Trang in the southern region.