Government Extends Visa-Free Exemption for Kazakh Tourists

The cabinet has extended the government’s policy of allowing Kazakh tourists to enter Thailand without a visa for another six months.

The waiver, applicable to those holding Kazakhstani passports or equivalent documents, has been extended from March 1 to August 31, as announced by Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin.

Prime Minister Srettha noted, “As per our records, each Kazakh tourist spends roughly 75,000 baht on average, compared to the general tourist expenditure of about 45,000 baht each.”

The initiative to allow visa-free entry was first launched last year, from September 25 to February 29, as a strategic effort to boost tourism.

This program was also extended to Chinese tourists, leading to an agreement between the Thai and Chinese governments to permanently waive visa requirements starting March 1, 2024.

Last week, the Thai prime minister shared that the government plans to offer visa-free travel to citizens from several more countries.

This development follows Thailand’s decision to eliminate visa requirements for Chinese and Indian nationals, a move designed to boost the tourism industry, which is essential for the economy of Southeast Asia’s second-largest country.

At a recent meeting at Government House, Prime Minister Srettha and Australia’s Governor-General, David Hurley, discussed establishing a mutual visa waiver program.

The proposal aims to facilitate travel and business activities for citizens of both countries.

Moreover, the Thai government is hopeful about establishing visa-free travel agreements with the Schengen-visa countries of Europe, as the Thai PM disclosed on Monday.

Last year, Thailand welcomed around 28 million international visitors, generating an income of 1.2 trillion baht.

However, these figures are significantly lower than the nearly 40 million tourists and 1.9 trillion baht revenue recorded in 2019, before the outbreak of Covid-19, according to the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.