Bangkok: In a bid to woo more tourists, Thailand on Tuesday halved the visa on arrival fees for tourists from India and 18 other countries.
The visa on arrival fees will now be 1000 baht (about Rs. 2000). The change was announced less than two months after visa fees was increased to baht 2,000 on September 27.
Thailand's economy relies heavily on foreign tourists. The move is intended to boost tourist arrivals, which is a key economic engine for the country.
"The fees will be cut to Bt1,000," the Tourism Ministry announced.
Thailand currently offers visa on arrival for citizens of India, Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet extended to 10 years from one the long-stay visa for foreigners aged 50 or more.
However, they must report to immigration police every 90 days.
The visa will be valid initially for five years and could be renewed for another five, Col Apisit Chaiyanuwat, vice minister at the Prime Minister's Office, said.
The visa fee was set at 10,000 baht (Rs. 20,000), he said.
Apart from the age requirement, the visa requires eligible foreigners to have a monthly salary of at least 100,000 baht or a bank deposit of at least 3 million baht, to be maintained for at least one year after receiving the visa.
Besides, they must have health insurance coverage for at least $ 1,000 for outpatient care and $10,000 or more for inpatient care per policy per year.
The revised rule aimed to promote medical and wellness tourism in line with the government's policy.
The target groups for the visa are long-stay visitors from India, Australia, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Taiwan and the United States, Apisit said....