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Thailand waives visa requirement for Indian tourists

Indian tourists will be allowed visa-free entry to Thailand for a period of six months starting November 10, local media reported on Tuesday.

The announcement was made following a decision by the Thai Cabinet, which agreed to exempt tourists from India and Taiwan from requiring an entry visa to stay in Thailand for up to 30 days, effective May 10, 2024, according to a report by Thai PBN World, Thailand's public service broadcaster.

Thailand's existing policy allows travellers from 59 countries to enter without an entry visa.

In response to certain challenges, particularly a drop in Chinese tourist arrivals, the Cabinet previously decided to extend similar visa exemptions to tourists from China and Kazakhstan for a limited period, aiming to boost tourism during the last quarter of the year, the report by Thai PBN World said.

Concerns regarding safety, as amplified by Chinese social media, and a slowdown in China's economy contributed to the decline in Chinese arrivals.

According to the Thai broadcaster, data for the first nine months of this year reflected that around 1.26 million Indians explored Thailand, and this number is projected to rise to approximately 1.55 million by the year's end. Indian tourists, on average, spend 41,000 baht per person during their 7-8 day stay in Thailand, Thai PBN World reported.

Taiwanese tourists have also made a noteworthy impact on Thailand's tourism sector. It is estimated that by the end of this year, roughly 700,000 Taiwanese tourists will have visited Thailand, compared to approximately 780,000 arrivals in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each Taiwanese tourist contributes an estimated 42,000 baht during their average 8-day stay, generating a revenue of approximately 33.5 billion baht.

Moreover, the year 2023 has seen nearly one million Russian tourists arrive in Thailand, underscoring the country's continued appeal as a prime tourist destination.

Last week Sri Lanka announced visa-free entry to visitors from India and six other countries- China and Russia- under a pilot project that has begun with immediate effect will continue till till March 31, 2024.

The decision was approved by the Sri Lanka Cabinet, the country's foreign affairs minister said.

(ANI)

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