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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawVisa NewsChinese and Indian Tourists Still Need Thai Visas

Chinese and Indian Tourists Still Need Thai Visas

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing visas for Chinese and Indian tourists.

In recent weeks and months, there has been some discussion at the Cabinet level of relaxing the rules with respect to the need for Thai Visas for Chinese and Indian tourists coming to the Kingdom and this has gone back and forth. This whole thing has been a bit of a dramatic saga if you will on the topic of Chinese and Indian tourists and whether or not they need to have visas and if so, whether they need to pay for them. 

We made another video specifically on the issue of Visa fees for Chinese and Indian tourists. I urge those watching this video to go check that video out but the purpose of this video is to just talk about whether or not Chinese and Indian tourists still need visas. This all seems to have come up as a result of Tourism sector has taken a hit especially in early and mid-2019 and there are various reasons for this. The Thai baht as a currency has grown relatively stronger to various other currencies throughout the world. Meanwhile, certain things that have nothing to do with Thailand, things like for example the China-US so-called trade war and various things economically throughout the world, as well as certain things that happened here in the Kingdom, have resulted in a decline in tourism and that decline seems to be back on the uptick but during this decline, Officials here in the Kingdom have been trying to address the situation in order to bring the tourists back if you will. Understand, especially the Chinese market, represents a substantial number of tourists for Thailand. It is my understanding that last year, over 30 million Chinese tourist came to Thailand in the year 2018.  So it is a substantial market and a substantial number of tourists that will have a tremendous impact on the Thai economy.  We have done other videos on the fact that the Thai economy, at least the tourist economy, is less dependent now on the Western tourists than it once was especially in light of the overwhelming numbers of the Chinese tourists.

In various recent articles they had discussed things like a Visa waiver which those who are aware, so this one: Visa Waiver Proposal Under Fire, we will go ahead and put that up there just so you can see it. In that article they discussed the fact that one of the solutions to the issue with Chinese and Indian tourist was to go ahead and just waive visas entirely. As a result of that discussion, one of the senior key members of the Government here in Thailand, Prawit Wongsuwan basically came out strongly against that on security grounds citing the fact that basically waiving visas entirely could result in a major influx of people coming into Kingdom and authorities would have a difficult time monitoring them.  In response to that, there was a recent article in the Bangkok Post, bangkokpost.com, the article is titled: Cabinet Blocks Visa Plan. To quote directly, "The Cabinet yesterday shot down the Tourism and Sports Ministry's Visa waiver proposal for Chinese and Indian visitors but agreed to extend the waiver of visa-on-arrival fees for tourists from 18 countries for another 6 months.” It is my understanding that within those 18 countries it was China and India specifically. So while visas are still required for Chinese and Indian tourists, there will be an abatement if you will of the requirement for those folks to pay visa-on-arrival fees. I think this was viewed as a good middle ground to go ahead and continue stimulating the tourism economy while at the same time maintaining certain security measures so it as not to overwhelm the Immigration apparatus here in the Kingdom.