The New Six Month Thai Visa for Tourists
Like any other country, Thailand is looking to improve its economy. Lately, The Tourism and Sports Ministry has been promoting a new plan that hopes to increase tourism in the land of smiles.
As a highly regarded tourist destination, Thailand is willing to take a step forward and invest in this vital sector of the economy. The big plan is to switch from the old tourist visa structure, which provided only one to three entries, to a new and better version: a new visa that will allow the beneficiary to enter and leave the country as he pleases for a period of six months.
This is a big move, considering the huge difference between the old visa and the new one. The government is expecting a big increase in the number of visitors, as well as in the country’s revenues from tourism. The whole project was a great success, both from a political and an economic point of view.
In the first seven months of 2015, the number of incoming tourists shot up to 17.5 million, which represents a 30% increase. Also, this number brought a 30% increase in revenue as well. State officials are very happy about the way this project is evolving. The newly established 6 month period for the visa may be pushed even further. The president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents, Charoen Wangananont expressed his “high satisfaction” in the development of this project, also stating that the 6 month visa may not be enough to please all of the visitors. There have been talks of a 12 month visa, but no changes have been made yet.
This new 6 month visa costs 5000 baht, which is 4000 baht more than the old one. The time you can spend in Thailand on a single entry as a beneficiary of the new visa is limited to 60 days. This should be more than enough for any kind of tourism-related activities. The new law is also good news for business men, who will be able to come and go as they please without having to obtain a new visa every time they travel to Thailand.
In conclusion, switching from the old visa system to the new and enhanced one was a great idea. Thailand has now become the perfect destination for weekend vacations, and the number of visitors has greatly increased (as well as the revenue).
Update November 1st 2015: New documents are available on the Internet describing what will be needed. See below.