Chinese applicants applying for tourist visas to Thailand will continue to be exempt from visa fees under recently announced policies, according to Minister Counsellor of the Royal Thai Embassy in Beijing Wasin Dhamavasi.
The Thai cabinet announced its policy to extend the visa fee exemption for the six-month period from March 1 to Aug 31, 2017, for passport holders from 20 countries including China.
The minister counsellor encouraged Chinese tourists to apply for tourist visas by themselves or to choose travel agencies that charge reasonable fees. He cautioned against using agencies that charge extra fees for visa applications.
Thailand announced a three-month exemption from the tourist visa fee from Dec 1, 2016 to Feb 28, 2017, aiming to attract more foreign tourists to Thailand, especially Chinese tourists.
According to official statistics from the Thai embassy, more than 600,000 Chinese residents submitted applications for travel visas to Thailand through the Thai embassy and the consulates general in China from December 2016 to January 2017.
In the run up to Spring Festival, a daily average of 10,000 Chinese citizens applied for tourist visas at the Thai embassy in Beijing. After the festival, the number decreased to 4,000 daily.
In 2016, Thailand welcomed almost 9 million Chinese tourists, more than from any other country. This year, the country expects to attract more than 10 million Chinese tourists.
The Royal Thai embassy in Beijing has announced its plan to relocate its Consular Section, currently on the 15th floor of the West Building LG Twin Towers, to the Embassy's new Chancery Building at No 21 Guang Hua Road, Chaoyang District. It will start operations from March 13, 2017 onwards. During the relocation, the consular section will be temporarily closed from March 9-10, 2017.
The minister counsellor said that the new office is more spacious and fully equipped with facilities to provide more convenience and accommodate more Chinese tourists applying for visas to Thailand.