The Thai government is targeting six million tourists from Europe this year, around 80% of pre-pandemic levels, as it seeks to extend its 45-day visa-free stay policy until year-end.
“I am confident Thailand will remain the top destination in Asia for European markets,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, head of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, while attending ITB Berlin 2023, one of the biggest travel fairs in Europe, Bangkok Post reported.
Thailand expects tourism revenues from the European market to generate more than 420 billion baht ($12 billion) this year.
Thailand has been seeking ways to attract long-haul European travelers, including the extension of 45-day visa exemption policy until the end of this year. The policy was originally set to expire on March 31.
Starting from October 1 last year, tourists from European countries were allowed to stay in Thailand for a maximum stay of 45 days without applying for a tourist visa, instead of only 30 days as was previously the rule.
Thanks to the open visa policy, Thailand received over 11 million foreign visitors last year, making its tourism industry among the fastest to recover in the region following the pandemic.
The Thai government is targeting 25 million foreign arrivals this year.
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