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Thailand Waives Visa Fees to Bring Back Chinese Tourists

Thursday, July 17, 2014
PHUKET: Thailand's military junta has agreed to exempt Chinese tourists, including those from Taiwan, from visa fees for three months.

Phuketwan has confirmed the reports. The move is bound to boost the numbers of Chinese tourists coming to Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai and other Thai tourist destinations.

Xinhua says that the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) agreed to waive visa fees for Chinese tourists from August 1 to October 31, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, was quoted as saying.

Southern Thailand Chinese Consul Qin Jian said today that he knew nothing about any new arrangements, but that there had certainly been many complaints about Phuket International Airport Immigration officials taking bribes of 200 baht from every individual arriving on some charter flights.

He had been in touch with the Immigration superintendent at the airport, who had promised to make sure it did not keep happening, the consul said. With the Army in charge on Phuket, corruption is likely to be severely punished.

Passenger figures passing through Phuket International Airport dropped in June by 12.5 percent - the first negative result in five years of constant month-by-month growth.

So far this year, the number of Chinese tourists to Thailand has dropped by around 25 percent year-on-year, with those traveling to Bangkok slumping by almost 40 percent.

The downturn is attributed to the political tumult that lasted from late last year to May 22, when the Army took charge of Thailand.

Tourism officials in Thailand will invite Chinese tourism officials to a series of promotion activities to restore the confidence of Chinese visitors, officials in Taiwan said.

Politically, opening the doors to an increasing number of Chinese visitors is likely to annoy US officials. The US, Australia and the European Union have sought to punish Thailand for the coup.

The US in particular is engaged in a subtle struggle with China for support around the SouthEast Asia region.

Comments

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Oh no! More chinese?
First bad move from the military.
Sorry, but these "zero baht" tourists bring a value of exactly that: ZERO !

Posted by jimbo34 on July 17, 2014 16:45

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Well Chinese tourists are low quality and don't spend money so really they are just flooding the place with low quality traffic, in reality it will do more harm than good.

Posted by Andrew wattson on July 17, 2014 17:37

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Reality check please. Bringing in low quality tourists will pave the way for extremely rich extra high quality Chinese investors. These investors will buy up everything in sight, yes because Thai people love the sight of money. This will be a major takeover of all things that make this country wonderful. Money laundering will be what Chinese are good at, all laundering... clothes and money. If nobody believes this, please take a trip to Singapore and Hong Kong who have already learnt their lesson well and now place a limit on the Chinese visitors at any one time. Their secret is easy, bring in "dirty" money, buy up every building and anything else that is very expensive, that they can set eyes on. Wait ten years and then sell the buildings etc. Now you have "clean" money. Simple really. Thailand will learn the hard way.

Posted by Duncan B on July 17, 2014 18:39

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At least it's stopped the Russian Bashing!

Posted by Mister Ree on July 17, 2014 20:05

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The visa fee is insignificant in the total cost of a trip. Fee or no fee, Military Coup just does not go well with tourism.

Posted by ThaiMike on July 18, 2014 00:30

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My wife and I bring our hard earned cash into Thailand for 5 months. Can we have free visa please? This is a crude attempt to get passenger arrivals back up until the start of the High Season.

Posted by Alan on July 18, 2014 01:18

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thailand doesn t want tourists but wants tourists money ! Chinese are exactly the good target.

Posted by tawan on July 18, 2014 18:37


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