Only 331 foreigners arrived in Thailand in October using the much-ballyhooed Special Tourist Visa, 0.01 percent of the number that visited the kingdom in the same month last year.
Tourism Authority of Thailand Deputy Gov.Thapanee Kiatphaibool released figures for the number of foreigners who were issued Certificates of Entry to arrive in Thailand last month on the full range of available visas. The numbers were not encouraging for Thailand’s tourism industry.
The biggest group of foreign arrivals came on retirement visas, which were issued to 501 long-staying, non-working foreigners age 50 or older.
STV tourists came second with 331 certificates issued, Elite Card holders (296 people), Non-Immigrant B work visas (113 people), single-entry tourist visas (86 people), APEC Card holders (86 people),
That’s a total 1,413 tourists in October. In the same month in 2019 Thailand welcomed more than 3 million visitors.
Thapanee said 1,000 travelers have requested to visit Thailand via various visas, especially tourists from Scandinavia. For example, 163 tourists from four Nordic countries mostly applied for retirement and single-entry tourist visas.
She said, to date, 900 Elite Card holders have applied to return to Thailand using visas lasting five to 20 years but only 200 have been let in, 107 of whom are still in quarantine.
Thapanee said TAT is pushing to make entry requirements easier, including removing the requirement to obtain the difficult-to-get “fit to fly” certificate, which is redundant anyway given that a negative Covid-19 test is required within 72 hours of flying.
The testing and Certificate of Entry requirements will remain in place.