The government of Thailand has set up a command centre to welcome tourists from India and Taiwan under the visa-free entry policy that will begin on Friday, a Bangkok report states.
Various agencies have been instructed to contribute to reducing expected overcrowding at Don Mueang Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport as the high season approaches.
Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said he had instructed state agencies to make preparations to ensure ease of travel and safety for foreign tourists in the wake of the government’s policy of allowing Indian and Taiwanese visitors to enter and stay without a visa for 30 days.
He said the Airports of Thailand (AOT) has been instructed to work closely with various agencies, including immigration authorities, to streamline the process and prevent overcrowding.
“The command centre has been set up to coordinate efforts of all airport service providers in ensuring smooth travel for visitors, especially at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang airports,” he said.
Suriya said that he has instructed other agencies, including rail, interprovincial bus and marine authorities, to deliver efficient services and to further step up their safety precautions in anticipation of increasing numbers of visitors.
According to Bangkok Post, the visa-free policy for tourists from India and Taiwan will be implemented from Friday until May 10 as part of the plan to stimulate tourism and the economy, he said.
Earlier, the government agreed to grant visa exemptions for tourists from China and Kazakhstan. That policy is due to run until February 29.
According to the government, some 1.55 million Indians are expected to visit the kingdom this year in total, while about 700,000 tourists from Taiwan are likely to pay a visit this year.
The average Indian tourist is estimated to spend 41,000 baht per trip and stay in the country for 7-8 days.
Taiwanese visitors are projected to spend 42,900 baht each, or 5,200 baht on average per day.
According to the Tourism and Sports Ministry, 557,554 foreign visitors entered Thailand from October 30 to November 5.
Malaysian tourists comprised the largest number at 73,297, followed by Chinese at 67,443 and Russians at 39,136.
Since January 1, foreign tourists have exceeded 22.61 million, generating about 954.23 billion baht in tourism revenue.