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Planning a Thailand trip? You won’t even need to apply for a visa anymore! Here’s why

Planning a Thailand trip? You won’t even need to apply for a visa anymore! Here’s why
Indian tourists can now add another perk to their Thailand travel itinerary: a visa-free entry to the ever-alluring Land of Smiles! Starting June 1, the Thai government has rolled out a revamped visa policy, granting Indian nationals a hassle-free entry and an extended stay of up to 60 days, a doubling of the previous 30-day limit that was valid until May 2024.

This change is part of a broader initiative by Thailand to attract more tourists and remote workers. The Thai cabinet has expanded its visa-free and visa-on-arrival options, increasing the list of eligible countries from 57 to 93, with India prominently included.

This extension not only caters to tourists, but also targets remote workers, graduate students and retirees, who can now stay for up to 60 days. Remote workers, in particular, benefit from a five-year visa that permits stays of up to 180 days at a time, and retirees see reduced health insurance requirements.

Thailand is already a popular destination among Indian tourists. Before the pandemic, India was Thailand's third-largest tourist market, with nearly 2 million visitors in 2019. Although 2023 saw a slight dip with 1.6 million Indian tourists, making it the fourth-largest source market, the new visa regulations are expected to boost these numbers significantly.

This visa relaxation comes as a strategic move by Thailand to rejuvenate its tourism sector, which has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The tourism industry, a vital part of Thailand's economy, had seen a sharp decline in international arrivals due to pandemic restrictions. But now, these new measures aim to reverse that trend, with Thailand hoping to attract a larger influx of tourists to stimulate its economy.

Renowned for its budget-friendly appeal and diverse attractions, Thailand remains a top choice for travellers worldwide. From breathtaking beaches and nature reserves to bustling cities rich with culture and delectable cuisine, the Southeast Asian country offers a unique blend of experiences that continue to draw visitors. It also boasts vibrant nightlife and affordable, high-quality accommodations, making it an irresistible destination for all kinds of travellers.

In 2023, Thailand welcomed around 24.5 million international visitors, generating significant economic benefits. Impressively, the first quarter of this year alone saw 9.4 million tourists contributing approximately 454.6 billion baht (1,030 billion INR) to the economy.

With the introduction of these new visa policies, Thailand is ambitiously aiming to attract a record 40 million tourists this year — a target that approaches its pre-pandemic peak in 2019.

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