Thailand to offer new multiple-entry visas

But regulation not expected to be game-changing move
Thailand is planning to roll out multiple-entry visas for all visitors, a move praised as a positive initiative to boost arrival figures. But the travel trade is not expecting the new regulation to be a game-changing move, as the country already offers visa exemptions to citizens of some 40-plus nations.
The Thai government last week announced the introduction of a multiple-entry visa valid over a six-month period. The new visa is expected to be effective within 60 days.
“This would be better for countries without visa-free entry, like Sri Lanka and India,” said Willem Niemeijer, founder and chief executive of Khiri Group, whose clients mainly hail from countries that have visa-free entry to Thailand. “India, for example, would be a good market for regular short-stay visitors.”
Pornthip Hirunkate, managing director of Destination Asia Thailand: “This measure will encourage regional tourists from neighbouring countries such as China and India to come to Thailand more frequently within the six-month period. This multiple entry visa will be great for corporate travellers who also come in and out of Thailand on a frequent basis.”
The cost of the multiple-entry visa is on the high side, at 5,000 baht (€127), compared with just 1,000 baht for a single-entry, 30-day visa. Pornthip said that extending the six-month validity to one year “would be more beneficial”.
Meanwhile, for travellers with visa exemptions, Niemeijer suggested that the Thai authorities make a distinction between arrivals at land borders and at airports. “Currently, land-border arrivals will get only 15 days, why not make that 30 days as well?” he said.
TTG Asia

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