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Thailand to waive visa requirements for Chinese tourists

Thailand to waive visa requirements for Chinese tourists

Thailand is set to temporarily waive tourist visa requirements for Chinese visitors.

The Thai government is keen to attract even more tourists to the country and is therefore, relaxing visa requirements for Chinese and Kazakh visitors.

It's hoped that the move will help to offset the impact of weak exports, which has caused a downturn in the Thai economy.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters: "We [will] implement the policy temporarily to see the impact."

Thailand currently exempts tourists from over 50 countries and regions around the world.

However, the country sees a potentially huge benefit by attracting even more tourists from China, the world's most populous country.

Various companies and individuals have already thrown their support behind the plan, including Chai Eamsiri, the chief executive of Thai Airways International, which is making plans to welcome even more tourists from China.

Eamsiri said in a statement: "The company is also anticipating that travel traffic will sharply rise due to the Visa Free policy in the forthcoming high season."

Elsewhere, Kriangkrai Tiennukul, the president of the Federation of Thai Industries, has welcomed the government's new tourism policy.

Tiennukul believes it will lead to a meaningful spike in tourist numbers and could help to boost the country's economy more broadly.

Reflecting on the policy and its potential impact, Tiennukul said: "The rising spending from the tourism industry will eventually lend support to the Thai GDP."

At present, Chinese tourists are required to apply and pay for visas to enter Thailand.

But under the new system, Chinese and Kazakh visitors will be able to remain in the country for up to 30 days. Thailand intends to monitor the impact of the change before making a long-term policy decision.

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