After Sri Lanka, Thailand announces visa waivers for Indian travellers from November 10


With the advent of the tourism season, Thailand has announced visa waivers for Indian globetrotters. This is the second country after Sri Lanka to offer the concessions to India. The visa-free entry starts from November 10 and will be available for six months, up to May 2024.

This also means that Indians will not have to shell out the 2,200 baht (roughly ₹5,100) which they were paying as visa charges. “Arrivals from India and Taiwan can enter Thailand for 30 days,” government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said. The exemption is aimed at wooing Indians, one of the major tourism sources for Thailand.

In fact, India has been Thailand’s fourth largest source market for tourism this year. The exemption extends to travelers from Taiwan, too. The Southeast Asian country, earlier this month, also allowed visa-free visit for Russian citizens for up to 90 days until April 2024.

“We will provide visa-free entry to India and Taiwan because a lot of their people like to travel to Thailand,” Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said. As of now, Indian and Taiwanese tourists have to apply for visa-on-arrival at immigration checkpoints, present bank statements and proof of accommodation.

Thailand welcomed 22 million visitors between January and October 29, resulting in a revenue of 927.5 billion baht (equivalent to $25.67 billion). Tourists from Malaysia have been the largest group of visitors this year, with over 3 million arrivals, followed by Chinese tourists with 2.65 million arrivals as of October 15. In September, Thailand eliminated visa requirements for Chinese tourists who accounted for 11 million out of the record 39 million arrivals in 2019, the largest group before the pandemic.

Thailand is looking at 28 million tourists this year in the hope that the travel sector will offset weak exports that have adversely impacted the country’s economic growth. Thailand’s tourism makes up almost 20 per cent of the overall GDP, but the sector has not been able to recoup ever since the Covid-19 pandemic. Various countries have been coming up with policies to attract Indian tourists post covid.

Sri Lanka recently announced visa-free entry till March 31 next year for visitors from seven countries – India, China, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia – as part of a pilot project to shore up the island nation’s tourism. The Central American nation El Salvador is, however, charging passengers from India and Africa a whopping $1,000 fee. Including (value added tax) VAT – an Indian traveler will have to pay $1,130. This is mainly meant to curb illegal migration to the US as many migrants from Africa and Asia make it to the US via El Salvador.


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