India is another target market for Thailand's tourism revival

Thailand may boost Indian tourism with tax breaks on imported jewelry for weddings, he said. Thai visas are easy for Indians, so no need to waive them.

Sep 18, 2023 - 18:58
Sep 19, 2023 - 08:33
India is another target market for Thailand's tourism revival
Photo Courtesy Unsplash | @cadop

Thailand may boost Indian tourism with tax breaks on imported jewelry for weddings, he said. Thai visas are easy for Indians, so no need to waive them.

To attract more visitors from India, Thai prime minister Srettha Thavisin is considering offering visa waivers to travellers from the South Asian nation, following a similar move for China and Kazakhstan that will take effect next week.

Srettha said he intends to visit India this year to hold talks with his counterpart Narendra Modi and explore ways to increase air connectivity between the two countries, including more flights by national carrier Thai Airways International Pcl.

“The number of flights from India is still limited due to internal policies,” Srettha said at a media forum on Monday, referring to regulations that aim to balance the market share of airlines from both countries.

Air India, the former national airline, is undergoing a fleet modernization and may face challenges in providing enough planes for routes to Thailand if Thai Air gets more access to the Indian market.

The Southeast Asian country may explore other ways to attract Indian visitors, such as giving tax breaks on jewelry brought for Indian weddings held in Thailand, a popular venue for such events, he said. As Indian tourists already have easy access to Thai visas, a waiver of this condition may not be essential, he said.

Srettha's remarks came a week after his cabinet agreed to temporary visa waivers for Chinese and Kazakh travelers ahead of the peak season. Tourists from the two countries can enter Thailand without a visa between September 25 and February 29 next year and can stay for up to 30 days per visit.

Srettha, a forum speaker, announced that the visa waiver program for Chinese tourists would generate 35 billion baht (USD 980 million) in revenue. He also said that Chiang Mai Airport, located in the northern province of Chiang Mai, would extend its operating hours to 24 hours a day starting from November 1. This would allow more flights from China and other countries that have adopted the visa-free policy.

The government spokesman, Chai Wacharonke, confirmed this decision after Monday’s cabinet meeting. He explained that the airport usually operates for 18 hours a day, but there was a high demand from Chinese, Japanese and Korean tourists for late night flights. This way, they could return to their home countries early in the morning and resume their work.

Thailand has been implementing various measures to stimulate the travel industry, which is a vital source of income for the country’s economy. The goal is to restore the tourism revenue to the level before the Covid-19 pandemic, with a target of 3.1 trillion baht in 2024.

According to the tourism ministry, Thailand has received 18.5 million foreign tourists so far this year and expects to reach 28 million by the end of the year. The revenue from foreign visitors amounted to 775 billion baht as of September 11. In 2019, Thailand hosted a record number of 40 million tourists.

GESTRS® Welcome to GESTRS®, your premier destination for all your web-related needs. Established in 2016, unleash the full potential of your online presence with our all-in-one digital solutions. From custom website design and development to cutting-edge app development, we've got you covered. Secure your online presence with our reliable domain and hosting services. Drive traffic, increase visibility, and reach your target audience with our comprehensive digital marketing and blogging services. Let us help you succeed online today.