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Thailand will waive visa for travelers from India and Taiwan for six months ahead of the year-end holiday period, the latest push by the Southeast Asian nation to boost tourist arrivals and prop up its sluggish economy.
Tourists from India and Taiwan will be able to enter Thailand without a visa between Nov. 10 and May 10 this year, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin told reporters after a cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The country had previously waived visa requirements for travelers from China and Kazakhstan for five months until Feb. 29.
READ: Thailand Sees $4 Billion from China Tourism After Visa Waivers
The visa waiver is aimed at accelerating the return of holidaymakers to restore tourism revenue back to pre-Covid levels. Thailand has welcomed more than 20 million foreign tourists so far this year — more than half of the pre-pandemic record of almost 40 million — with as many as 28 million expected by year-end.
Travelers from Malaysia has topped the list of tourists this year at more than 3 million, followed by Chinese — the largest group of visitors to Thailand before the pandemic — at 2.65 million as of Oct. 15, according to the latest figures from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Thailand expects the number of Chinese tourists to reach 4 to 4.4 million in 2023, the tourism agency said earlier this month.
–With assistance from Anuchit Nguyen.
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Abhinav Thawait is a globe-trotting correspondent with a passion for international affairs. With a background in international relations, he offers a global perspective on the most pressing issues around the world. Abhinav’s curiosity takes his to the far corners of the earth, where he seeks to share untold stories and diverse viewpoints.