Is a Free Visa the Way to Attract More Chinese and Indian Tourists in 2020?

Chinese and Indian tourists in Thailand

Very few people would argue that the western tourist market has been badly hit in recent years with many looking for alternative locations closer to home. Sadly, the same is true for western expats who have also decided to head home taking their Thai wives with them on UK Spouse Visas. Of course, this has left a massive void, and TAT is apparently targeting the Chinese and Indian markets to fill any gaps.


How to attract Chinese and Indian tourists


Both groups have indeed been increasing in numbers for several years. However, Pipat Ratchakitprakam, the Tourism and Sports Minister, believes that the only way to ensure that they keep coming is to allow them to go for 14-days free of charge.


Indian and Chinese visitors


The number of Indians visiting Thailand was up 22% in 2019 to around 2.2 million spending an impressive THB8.5 billion. This figure is expected to rise to around THB9.2 billion in 2020. The Chinese tourist figures also increased by 4% in 2019 to about 11 million with spending of approximately THB550 billion.

These significant spending figures illustrate perfectly why these markets are being targeted mainly due to their impact in popular tourist areas such as Pattaya and Chiang Mai. Local businesses will no doubt have their fingers crossed that any changes have the desired effect.


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