Tourism association calls for visa fee exemption

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Photo: Thai Embassy

The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) plans to urge the tourism minister to exempt Chinese tourists from paying the single-entry visa fee.

Vichit Prakobgosol, president of ATTA, said the measure was necessary to draw Chinese tourists back to the kingdom following a series of unfortunate events that have prompted them to shun Thailand.

The ATTA has previously called on the Tourism Ministry to provide double-entry visas for Chinese tourists at the same cost as a single-entry visa. The proposal was raised after a tour boat with Chinese tourists sank in the sea off Phuket early September

After the accident, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan blamed the incident on a Chinese firm for allegedly operating the tour boat services in Thailand illegally. His comment enraged many Chinese tourists, who vowed to boycott Thailand.

Vichit said he will put forward the modified proposal when he meets Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat on Thursday.

Vichit said the earlier double-entry visa proposal would not be enough to regain the confidence of Chinese tourists after another incident, where a Chinese man was hit by a security guard at Don Mueang International Airport. Also, Chinese tourists have complained they were required to pay a tip of Bt300 at the immigration counters at the Don Mueang airport.

Read full article at The Nation: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/Tourism/30356374

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