In a bid to energize its tourism industry, Thailand has announced a temporary visa exemption for travelers from India and Taiwan, starting from November 10, 2023, and extending until May 10, 2024. Under this new policy, tourists from India and Taiwan can enter Thailand for a period of 30 days without the need for a visa. This measure is expected to further upraise Thailand’s attractiveness as a destination.
Thailand’s Prime Minister, Srettha Thavisin, disclosed the exemption of Indian and Taiwanese travelers from visa requirements following a cabinet meeting, with the aim of re-energize the tourism sector. Recent data from the Tourism Authority of Thailand indicates that Malaysian tourists have been the most prominent group, exceeding three million arrivals, while Chinese tourists, formerly the top group, reached 2.65 million by October 15. Additionally, Thailand’s neighbor, Sri Lanka, has also embraced tourism by offering free visas to travelers from several nations, fostering stronger international relations through a pilot project until March 31, 2024.
The relationship between Thailand and India has classically been significant in terms of tourism. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand welcomed 2 million Indian tourists, making India one of the country’s most important sources of tourism revenue. India stands as Thailand’s 4th largest contributor to tourism revenue, and then comes Malaysia, China and North Korea. Thailand’s decision to eliminate visa requirements for Indian tourists is set to remarkably renew the tourism sector and strengthen the relationship between 2 countries.
This latest announcement is part of Thailand’s ongoing efforts to renew its tourism industry, as the country aims to attract a total of 28 million tourists this year. With these visa exemptions, Thailand is positioning itself as a welcoming destination for travelers from India and Taiwan, as well as other countries, in an effort to bounce back to recover from the challenges triggered by the pandemic.
In the first 9 months of this year, around 1.26 million Indians explored Thailand, a number expected to reach 1.55 million by year-end. During their 7-8 day stay, Indian tourists typically spend an average of 41,000 baht per person. Thailand’s strategy, which includes visa exemptions and a focus on tourism, is organized toward renewing the sector, providing travelers with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the country’s cultural diversity, natural beauty, thereby renewing Thailand’s status as a prominent global travel destination.