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Tourism minister to push lifting visa requirements for Indians, Chinese

Aug 19. 2019
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn
Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn
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Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said he will proceed with proposing visa-free entry to Chinese and Indian travellers to the Cabinet on August 20, even though Deputy Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai have voiced concerns that this will affect national security.

“I have faith in Thai police. Even if the Cabinet does not approve the proposal of visa-exempt entry, criminals will still come to Thailand and get caught. The finance minister agreed with the measure on August 16, and I will propose it to the Cabinet today [August 20] to seek a final solution,” Phiphat said. 

The move to boost tourism in the country includes two main measures, namely allowing Chinese and Indian tourists to enter Thailand without requiring a visa from November 1 to October 31, 2020 and exempting visa-on-arrival fees for 19 countries, with the exception of Chinese and Indian passport holders. 

Another measure proposed by the finance minister is to give tourists a gift of Bt1,000, in addition to three extra measures, namely the Bt100 eat-shop-travel project, 15 per cent discount at a limit of Bt30,000 for tourists on food, hotel and travel, and a special week-day tourism plan. 

Phiphat also said he will have an informal discussion with Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha and related ministries on extending the closing time for entertainment venues in some zones to 4am. However, Phiphat said he has asked the Tourism Authority of Thailand to study this measure first.

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