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Thailand Extends Visa Exemption for Indian and Taiwanese Tourists

In a bid to revitalize its tourism sector, Thailand has decided to extend its visa exemption program for tourists hailing from India and Taiwan. This move, announced by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin after a cabinet meeting, grants travelers from these countries the privilege of entering Thailand sans visa until November 11, 2024.

The decision stems from Thailand’s efforts to invigorate its economy, heavily reliant on tourism. Under the extended program, visitors from India and Taiwan can relish a visa-free stay of up to 30 days in the Land of Smiles.

This extension follows the success of the initial waiver initiated last November, where travelers from India and Taiwan were granted a 15-day stay. Thailand, recognizing the pivotal role of tourism in its economy, has been progressively easing visa regulations for visitors from key markets such as China and Russia.

The impact of these measures is evident, with Thailand witnessing a substantial surge in tourist arrivals. In the first four months of 2024 alone, the country welcomed over 12 million foreign tourists, marking a notable 39% increase from the same period last year.

The Ministry of Tourism and Sports disclosed that the lion’s share of visitors hailed from China, Malaysia, Russia, South Korea, and India, collectively constituting half of this year’s arrivals.

Tourism holds significant sway over Thailand’s economy, contributing approximately 12% to its GDP and furnishing around 20% of total employment opportunities. In light of its economic significance, the Thai administration, under Srettha’s leadership, has set an ambitious target of attracting 80 million tourists by 2027.

By extending the visa exemption for Indian and Taiwanese tourists, Thailand is proactively positioning itself to achieve this goal while fortifying its tourism sector.

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