THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Visa exemption called for as tourism drags

Visa exemption called for as tourism drags

BANGKOK: The government is being urged to make big tourism markets, notably China and India, visa-exempt as part of attempts to revive sluggish tourism.


By Bangkok Post

Saturday 10 August 2019, 11:53AM


Chiang Mai and other provinces in Thailand await more tourists. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill / Bangkok Post

Chiang Mai and other provinces in Thailand await more tourists. Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill / Bangkok Post

Tassapon Bijleveld, chief executive of Asia Aviation Plc (AAV), the major shareholder of Thai AirAsia, said the government must offer new incentives to lure foreign visitors amid the slowdown in the tourism sector.

Stimulus plans should be introduced because the growth in the number of foreign arrivals has slowed considerably, he said.

Foreign arrivals grew by 1.5% to 19.76 million in the first half of the year. Visitors from China, the biggest tourism market for Thailand, were down 4.7% at 5.65 million.

The government should immediately consider extending the waiver of visa-on-arrival (VOA) fees for 21 countries, including China and India, Mr Tassapon said.

The VOA scheme was put in place last year and renewed twice, providing a 2,000-baht waiver for tourists from 21 countries until the end of October.

"The weakened yuan and strong baht are factors directly affecting Chinese visitors, as the volatile currency adds 20% in costs to Chinese visitors," Mr Tassapon said.

Meanwhile, AirAsia group chief executive Tony Fernandes said the VOA waiver has improved the tourism situation in Thailand.

But negative factors are becoming more challenging, such as the weaker yuan compared with the baht, he said, and AirAsia has to continue expanding to find new opportunities and markets.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

In Thailand, there are various destinations that have potential as new markets, Mr Fernandes said, thus it’s the right time to push the opening of new airports with the right price.

"Our policy since we started this airline 18 years ago is to make everyone fly," he said. "But airport taxes and charges are increasing. Some 600 million people have flown with AirAsia because of low fares.

"Every day we try to lower the cost to bring fares down. All we have asked the airport to do is help make fares cheaper for passengers. Allow people to fly democratically, don't just limit travel to the rich."

Speaking on a visit to Bangkok on Friday, Mr Fernandes said that despite the group’s relentless efforts to expand to new destinations, what is holding Southeast Asia back overall is low airport capacity.

Myanmar, for instance, has high potential for seaside tourism, but its airports are not yet ready to handle many more visitors.

In the next two weeks, Mr Fernandes and Mr Tassapon will speak to top officials in Cambodia regarding greater cooperation with that country.

Read original story here.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Kurt | 11 August 2019 - 14:36:09

Are visa applications/regulations not a part of thai  'National Security' setting? Or is  'National Security' just a hollow phrase the moment it comes to push tourism in order to make money? Airports not ready to handle more tourists? Well, everywhere incinerators, dirty beaches, country's water shortage, etc is not ready as well.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
MP Sira returns to Phuket over Kata condo saga

A very lot is wrong here. To many upset people. Are there so many irregularities, or even corruption...(Read More)


Man found dead in smoke-filled pickup, wife believes depression led to suicide

So...when the guys wife came back from work, she got the spare key and opened the truck door and tri...(Read More)


Army hunts Yala checkpoint attackers

Anglo is the operative word. Malay did not become independent of British rule until 1957. British a...(Read More)


IUU-blacklisted ship seized off Phuket to be destroyed in Bangladesh

A lot of justifying money making crab. This reefer cargo vessel is not a fishing boat, and it never...(Read More)


Paralegal charged with murder of courtroom killer

Why is 'land' such a obsession for thai people? They litterarily kill for it. At the same ...(Read More)


Paralegal charged with murder of courtroom killer

It more looks like that mr Thanakorn should be given a medal for preventing that the killing retire...(Read More)


5.8 tons of krathong cleared from Saphan Hin lagoon

Surely all those coins were collected by ( mostly) Burmese fellows already that night....(Read More)


Kata project to transform ‘wastewater canal’ into eco-tourism attraction

Yeah...take a festering canal into an "Eco-tourism" attraction...while at the same time ta...(Read More)


‘Copyright agents’ face arrest warrants for krathong floats ‘sting’

Great work...shafting this enterprising young lady, while in the meantime, every name brand under th...(Read More)