By The Nation
Deputy government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul , said the Cabinet today (October 22), approved an six-month extension to the exemption until the end of April next year.
The visa fee waiver has been implemented since November last year and is due to expire by the end of this month.
Waiving of the Bt2,000 fee has since led to a 120 per cent increase in tourist arrivals despite costing the government Bt 10.76 billion in lost revenue.
However, the loss was insignificant when compared to Bt144.73 billion in tourist spending, she said. The move is part of government measures to boost the local economy, including incentives for domestic tourists, soft loans and reduction in mortgage and transaction fees for the property sector.
The government also agreed to increase the quota for Australians entering Thailand on Work and Holiday Visas (WHV) from 500 to 2,000 per year.
The Cabinet also allocated Bt19 billion to spur local tourism, of which Bt 10 billion is a contingency spending for the Tourism Authority of Thailand.