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Could Thailand Soon Be Visa Free?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the possibility that Thailand could soon be Visa free. Let's be clear first of all, there are a number of nationalities that can already enter Thailand on Visa exempt status for example Americans, many people from the so-called Anglosphere, the United Kingdom, the EU. There are a number of other countries in Eastern Europe, Russia I believe has a Visa Exempt status. China to the best of my knowledge, I don't believe has one; has visa-on-arrival, as well as India. Then you have got various places in like South America; they may have or may not depending on their bilateral relationship with Thailand, they may have a Visa free structure.

In any event, this is kind of more from the standpoint of doing some kind of Visa-free program in order to kind of spur tourism and I got to think of making this video after reading a recent article from the Thai Examiner, that is I urge those who are watching this video, read this article in detail if you are interested in this stuff and go over that site because I usually will just quote a small excerpt from a very large article which provides a lot of insight. Quoting directly from the article titled: Visa free for all put forward by industry meeting hosted by Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Quoting directly: "On Friday, the Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, appeared to endorse a range of proposals including the extension of the Visa-on-arrival concession to all countries, a waiver of all Visa fees for 6 months from July 1st, and an extension of stay on Tourist Visas for incoming travelers from 30 to 45 days. The meeting also endorsed an earlier call from the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Phiphat Rathchakitprakarn, for the abolition of the Thailand Pass application although it appeared to accept the need still for tourists to show proof of vaccination or health status before entering the Kingdom and to have confirmed medical health insurance. The proposal to grant a Visa free for all is however, bound to face scrutiny from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which in August 2019 opposed a similar move for both India and China at Cabinet which ultimately saw it scrapped and replaced with Visa fee waivers." 

So a lot going on in there but long story short it does appear that the TAT and the Tourism and Sports Ministry are working strenuously to try and create some benefits; get rid of some of the red tape; get rid of some of the costs associated with coming to Thailand in terms of Visa fees etc. As I have said in other videos and I will say it again, really if you want to right this ship, we have got to get rid of Thailand Pass, we have got to get rid insurance requirements; we have to get rid of all the requirements associated with this. If this thing is endemic and the Emergency Decree is ending then we are back to status quo ante, first quarter of 2020 when most people in the Western World, many people out here in Asia could just get on a plane and come into Thailand and then deal with their Visa status as soon as they got here. Now I know that may not happen today or tomorrow but it needs to get there for a lot of different reasons. Me personally, I don't want to be stuck with all of these requirements to travel in and out of Thailand in the future and I don't think there is any need for it once the overall issue has passed; once the situation is endemic. It is like "well, why would we do that?" We have a million endemic diseases out there that we don't do that for. 

So the thing to take away from this video is I think it is some good news that we are seeing policy makers trying to make some changes here. It remains to be seen if any of them will actually go through. I mean we have talked about all kinds of things in the last two years that we thought would happen that never did. Hopefully we will see this happen sooner rather than later.