First 4 weeks of January sees 28% higher foreign arrivals than in 2023
Thailand has welcomed over 2.7 million overseas visitors from January 1-28, a 27.8% jump compared to January 1-31 last year, government spokesperson Chai Wacharonke said on Friday.
He attributed the jump to the success of the government’s free visa policy, which has been implemented since September last year beginning with visa exemption to visitors from China and Kazakhstan, followed by India and Taiwan in November.
The visa waiver for Chinese and Kazakhs expires on February 29.
Chai said Chinese arrivals alone in January was five times higher than last year — 444,702 in 2024 versus 91,841 in 2023. He said it was a “good start” for this year. The government estimates total foreign arrivals this year could exceed the target of 35 million people and even reach 40 million, the tally of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Chai added that statistics showed the free visa policy had helped boost foreign visitors by around 800,000 each month. Based on the average spending of 50,000 baht per person, this means the policy would help generate 40 billion baht of additional tourism revenue per month, or 480 billion baht per year.
Thailand and China have agreed to waive visa requirements for their citizens permanently from March 1, which comes into effect soon after the free visa policy expires.