Thailand says it will grant a visa-on-arrival fee waiver for tourists from 21 countries and regions.
According to the announcement on the Royal Gazette, from Nov. 15 to Jan. 13, 2019, citizens of the countries including China will be exempted from the 60 U.S. dollars visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand not more than 15 days.
Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of Tourism Authority of Thailand, said on Tuesday that the visa fee exemption was made to boost falling tourist numbers over the peak New Year holiday season, especially for visitors from China, the kingdom’s largest tourism market.
Tourism takes up about 20 per cent of the country’s economic growth.
Chinese tourists contribute about one third of the country’s total foreign arrivals.
Thailand has seen a 9 per cent drop of the number of Chinese tourists in the third quarter after a 25 per cent increase in the first two quarters year-on-year.
Yuthasak said Thailand is preparing a range of year-end activities and promotions, including the New Year Electronic Music Festival in Pattaya.
Thailand is also inviting key opinion leaders from China who are active on China’s influential digital platforms to trips in five tailor-made routes in the country that would be popular for Chinese tourists.