Year-end parties for those visiting Thailand got a little more exciting with the news that tourists from 21 countries, including India, are exempt from paying fees to obtain visa on arrival for two months, December and January.
To boost tourist arrivals, the Thai government has decided to waive the 2,000-baht fee for visa on arrival scheme for two months, from November 15, 2018 to January 13, 2019 for 21 countries, including India, for visitors staying in the country for no more than 15 days, reports said.
The 21 countries are Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Tourists from these countries are entitled to apply for VoA at 48 designated immigration checkpoints, which allow tourists to enter the country for the purpose of tourism and stay for up to 15 days.
According to local media reports, the exemption is expected to boost foreign arrivals to nearly 40 million against a target of 38 million. Chinese arrivals could reach 12 million, compared with the earlier target of 10.5 million, reports said.
Revenue from tourism accounts for 20 per cent of Thailand&rsquos GDP. Hence the government is keen to boost the numbers which have been weakening over the recent months.