Thai Cabinet Extends Visa-Free Scheme to Tourists From Russia

The Thai cabinet on Tuesday officially approved a 60-day visa exemption for Russian visitors, effective from May 1 to July 31, 2024.

This exemption aims to boost tourism-related revenue and stimulate the economy, according to government spokesman Chai Wacharonke. The proposal originated from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Previously, the government had allowed a 90-day visa-free stay to attract Russian tourists during the peak season, set to end this month.

On Tuesday, the cabinet also endorsed a 30-day visa exemption for Bangladeshi visitors holding official passports, as revealed by Mr. Chai.

Thailand’s initiative to provide visa-free entry is part of its strategic efforts to promote tourism, a significant contributor to the country’s GDP.

From January 1 to April 7, the nation welcomed approximately 9.98 million international tourists who spent 484 billion baht, as reported by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The leading markets for tourists were China, with 1.88 million visitors, followed by Malaysia with 1.24 million, Russia with 660,953, South Korea with 588,759, and India with 510,879.

In March, the Thai government officially launched a permanent visa exemption policy specifically for Chinese tourists.

This policy was introduced to encourage more visitors from China, aiming to strengthen tourism ties and boost economic activities within the sector.

A permanent visa exemption was approved for visitors from Kazakhstan earlier this month.

Individuals with passports valid for at least six months can now enter and stay in Thailand for up to 30 days per trip, not exceeding 90 days in total within a 180-day period.

Thai Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara and his Kazakhstani counterpart, Murat Nurtleu, formalized the agreement in Bangkok yesterday.