The short-term waiver has been passed by the National Council of Peace and Order (NCPO) as part of a package of measures to rapidly revive Thai tourism in the second half of 2014. The move has now passed all the stages of regulatory approval through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior and been published in Royal Gazette.
The exemption will apply only to visitors coming to Thailand for tourism, and submitting their tourist visa applications at Thai diplomatic missions or via the visa-on-arrival desks at the international checkpoints. Only a Tourist Visa is applicable to this measure; visitors who apply for other categories of visa; such as, Transit Visa or Non-Immigrant Visa still have to pay for the visa fee as normal.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Thawatchai Arunyik said, “Thailand and China have very close relations and have much in common in terms of food, cultural and ethnic relationships with many Thai prominent businessmen and political families having roots in China. Chinese visitors were selected for the exemption as part of the commemorative activities marking the 40th Anniversary of Thailand – China Diplomatic Relations. Moreover, this measure is also to help the Thai private sector and the many small and medium sized enterprises to recover.”
From both mainland China and Chinese Taipei, Thailand is considered a short-haul and value-for-money destination with good airline connections and an excellent range of accommodation and tour products for people of all age groups. The kingdom is well-known for its long-standing tradition of friendliness and hospitality. Bangkok also has a very large and bustling Chinatown area where Chinese visitors can regularly be seen shopping for herbal medicines, jewellery and gold. Many of them also go to make offerings at the numerous Chinese temples.
cr: Tourism Authority of Thailand
cr pictures: ibtimes, echinacities, lohwendy blogspot