Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin is set to welcome Chinese tourists at Suvarnabhumi Airport on Monday, marking the commencement of the government’s visa-free program for tourists from China and Kazakhstan.
He will head a delegation of ministers and officials at a reception event arranged by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) for Chinese passengers of Thai AirAsia X flight number XJ761, scheduled to leave Shanghai and arrive in Bangkok at 10:15 am on that day.
As per last week’s Royal Gazette, facilitated entry and 30-day visa-free stays for citizens of China and Kazakhstan are set to commence on September 25 and conclude on February 29 of the subsequent year.
To inaugurate the program, the TAT is coordinating ceremonies to greet the first batch of visa-free travelers on Monday at four predominant international airports nationwide: Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, and Phuket airports.
The Minister of Tourism and Sports, Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, conveyed that the ceremony will feature a greeting billboard and cultural performances.
Visitors will also receive jasmine garlands and elephant-patterned trousers, a sought-after memento among travelers in Thailand.
Ms. Sudawan disclosed that the Ministry of Tourism and Sports will collaborate with the private sector to augment tourism.
Concurrently, Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit affirmed that the initiative would act as a catalyst for the economy.
The influx of Chinese visitors is anticipated to witness a surge during their National Day break from September 29 to October 6.
He projected that post-initiative implementation, the flights from China will witness a rise from 72 to 96 flights daily, with the count of Chinese visitors escalating from 9,680 to 18,656 daily.
Attaining the objective of accommodating five million Chinese tourists this year is plausible, he stated.
Mr. Suriya has directed the Airports of Thailand (AoT) to implement strategies to accommodate the surge in tourist numbers.
For instance, he mentioned that immigration officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport will operate all 138 counters to assist 7,140 passengers each hour, with the expectation that each will spend less than a minute at the counter.