The Thai Cabinet has agreed on Tuesday to extend the free tourist visa scheme for visitors from all countries for another six months until the end of August 2017.
The free visa promotion was initially launched on December 1 in order to increase the number of foreign visitors during the peak season and specifically aimed at countering a sharp drop in arrival numbers from China.
According to a government spokesman the visa fee waiver had resulted in an estimated 12% increase in tourist arrivals since December (just how do you measure that?) and was now extended to boost arrival numbers also in the “low season”.
The fee for a single-entry tourist visa (the scheme does not apply to multiple-entry tourist visa or non-immigrant visa) is usually 1,000 Baht. The scheme was initially supposed to expire at the end of February.
UPDATE (February 28) – According to an announcement posted today on the website of the Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane/Laos, the extension of the free tourist visa scheme does NOT apply to nationals of all countries as previously reported but only to those from countries that get visas on arrival.
According to a thread posted on Thaivisa,com, it appears some wrong information was earlier issued by the Thai government and the reported extension of the scheme was never in place.