Thailand Enhances Tourist Influx with Extended Stay for Russians

Thailand Enhances Tourist Influx with Extended Stay for Russians

Explore Thailand’s new visa policy, which allows Russian tourists a 60-day stay, aimed at boosting tourism and economic recovery. Learn about Thailand’s strategic move to attract more visitors in 2024.

Thailand

In a strategic move to invigorate its economy, Thailand’s cabinet recently greenlit a plan to significantly alter the stay duration for Russian tourists. 

Aimed at boosting the nation’s economic recovery, the adjustment allows Russian passport holders to enjoy an extended vacation of up to 60 days per visit.

This initiative, effective from May to July, modifies the current visa exemption, which permits a stay of up to 90 days. 

However, this will expire at the end of the month, explained deputy government spokesperson Rudklao Suwankiri

The decision was announced following a routine cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The policy shift is not unprecedented. 

Thailand, heavily reliant on tourism, previously eased visa regulations for travelers from other primary markets, including China and India

Russia ranks as the third largest source of tourists this year, following China and Malaysia, highlighting its significance in Thailand’s tourism landscape.

Rudklao noted, “This is a special case, and it is temporary, a measure we have taken to support our economic recovery.” She emphasized that the extension is expected to draw more Russian visitors during this period, which would “generate more tourism income and boost the economy.” This reassures the public that the government is taking calculated steps to manage the situation.

Tourism is not just a sector in Thailand’s economic structure; it is a pillar. 

It supports approximately 20% of total jobs and contributes about 12% to the GDP of the nation’s $500 billion economy. 

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Under Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s leadership, the government aims to attract 80 million tourists by 2027, a goal that underscores the importance of this sector in our economy.

The first few months of the year have already seen a promising influx of over 700,000 Russian tourists, setting a pace likely to surpass the 1.48 million record set in 2023, according to the Tourism and Sports Ministry.

This temporary policy adjustment is a calculated effort by Thailand to capitalize on tourism to fuel its post-pandemic economic recovery, providing a hospitable and longer stay for Russian tourists, which is expected to impact the local economy significantly.

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