Thai Government Extends Free Thai Tourist Visa
There is more good news for visitors travelling to Thailand following the government’s extension of free tourist visas.
The Thai cabinet has extended its free tourist visa programme to 21 different countries until the end of August, in order to boost international visitor arrivals. Under the programme, the THB1,000 (US$28.50) dollar visa fee to enter the country is waived completely.
Although the offer was initially scheduled to finish at the end of May 2017, the extension shows that policy makers are keen to see continued growth in the Thai travel and tourism sector.
International visitors from a vast range of countries are set to benefit from the fact that the free visa programme has been rolled out for several additional months. Countries included in the programme are Andorra, Bhutan, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Malta, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
A significant portion of the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s (TAT) marketing efforts over the past year have been focused on attracting high-spending tourists that will stay longer in the Kingdom, and spend a larger amount of money across their stay. Thailand has a fast-expanding high-end tourism sector, and destinations like Phuket and Koh Samui are leading the way in terms of the boutique accommodation and world-class restaurants available.
A growing number of visitors – particularly those from China, Hong Kong, Russia, the US and the UK – are opting to stay in one of the country’s luxury private villas, as opposed to a hotel. While Thailand is home to a great number of international hotel brands, the boutique luxury offerings such as the private villa sector are proving an irresistible option for tourists.
Islands like Phuket and Koh Samui are home to a great number of Thailand’s finest holiday properties. Many of them offer beach access or ocean views, making them popular with visitors who want to enjoy the tropical sunshine while they are in Thailand. The excellent facilities available also ensure that they grow in popularity. Private swimming pools, landscaped gardens, fully equipped fitness suites and expansive living space are just a few of the highlights visitors can look forward to.
The tailored level of service is another factor that is ensuring private holiday properties remain so popular with visitors from Hong Kong, China, Russia and Europe. Many villas come with their own dedicated team of staff – often including a private chef – to tend to guests’ needs during their stay.