The cabinet has approved a proposal to extend the Special Tourist Visa (STV) programme for another year.
The visa is intended for visitors wishing to stay for up to 270 days and the programme was due to expire at the end of this month.
Submitted by the Tourism and Sports Ministry, the approved proposal extended this visa programme and sought permission for tourists arriving by sea on cruise ships or yachts to enter Thailand, deputy government spokeswoman Traisuree Taisaranakul said yesterday.
Over the past year, a total of 5,609 tourists had visited Thailand under this special visa programme and were estimated to have spent 1.2 billion baht while staying here, she said.
Many of these visitors were from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Croatia and the average stay was 90 days, she said, adding that destinations most popular among them were Bangkok, Surat Thani (Koh Samui), Phuket, Udon Thani, Chon Buri (Pattaya City), Pathum Thani, Nonthaburi, Chiang Mai and Rayong.
Following this success, the government now aims to attract more tourists who are interested in staying in Thailand for 90 to 270 days and believes this special long-stay visa programme will contribute greatly to Thailand’s attempt to revive its tourism sector.