Re: "Plan to grant multiple entry visas", National, August 6.
It is not unusual for news on visas in Thailand to be clouded by confusion. Yet another example is the fanfare over the announcement that a new six-month multiple-entry tourist visa is to be introduced to boost arrivals.
Such a visa is already available at many Thai consulates around the world, although at a lower price than the Bt5,000 now being announced.
How this new visa will boost tourism from Western Europe, the US, Australia and elsewhere is a mystery. Or is the idea to make the new visa available at the airport on arrival? Or will the latest innovation be compulsory, ending the current discretionary practice whereby tourists from many countries get a free 30-day entry at the airport?
Perhaps the idea is to encourage tourist arrivals from India and China, most of whom currently obtain 15 days on arrival by filling in an application form at the airport. Why these holidaymakers, who rarely stay beyond a fortnight, would need an expensive six-month permission to stay is not immediately obvious.
True to form, Thai authorities will likely remain silent on these matters while Internet warriors on news and social-media sites will have a field day. Best of luck, guys.