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Thai prime minister: Visa-free coverage for Chinese language guests to be made everlasting

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BANGKOK — Thailand and China will quickly implement visa-free entry for one another’s residents, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin mentioned Tuesday.

Chinese language nationals can be granted visa-free entry on a everlasting foundation starting March 1, Srettha mentioned after his Cupboard’s weekly assembly. Chinese language guests have been allowed visa-free entry since September final yr, however the privilege was resulting from expire on Feb. 29.

Thailand’s visa-exemption coverage goals to strengthen the nation’s tourism business, which was badly broken by the coronavirus pandemic. The nation acquired about 40 million guests in 2019, and the federal government estimated they spent 1.9 trillion baht ($53.2 billion) — an quantity that plummeted by greater than 99% by 2021, in keeping with information from the Ministry of Tourism and Sports activities.

China is a serious supply of vacationers to Thailand, with virtually 11 million guests in 2019, accounting for 27.6% of all arrivals that yr earlier than the pandemic devastated the vacationer market.

Final yr, Thailand noticed 28 million international vacationer arrivals, together with 3.4 million from China. Chinese language guests ranked second to Malaysia, which accounted for about 4.4 million guests.

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Tuesday’s choice to grant Chinese language residents everlasting visa-free privileges was made after negotiations between Bangkok and Beijing, Srettha mentioned. He mentioned China agreed to increase visa-free entry to Thai guests in change for permitting Chinese language nationals the everlasting visa exemption.

In Beijing, International Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin mentioned China welcomed the Thai transfer, saying it was within the elementary curiosity of the 2 nations.

“The competent authorities of either side are at present in shut communication on the precise matter, and we sit up for the related preparations coming into impact as quickly as attainable,” he mentioned.

In accordance with the Bangkok Put up on-line, Thai International Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara mentioned he’ll journey to China by early February to signal the settlement for mutual visa-free entry.

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