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A leading government figure has said that Thailand is about to introduce a “Double Entry Tourism Visa”.
This will enable a visitor to go in and out of Thailand to neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Laos or Malaysia then return to Thailand to complete their holidays, Thai news site Post Today reported.
Two land entry points are also being opened up 24 hours.
One media outlet even mentioned that a “multiple entry” visa was being considered.
Kobsak Pootrakul, deputy secretary general to the prime minister, told a conference that Thailand was considering a number of stimulus measures to help the tourism industry.
He said that the target was to get 42 million people visiting the kingdom next year.
Apparently 20 million did so in the first half of this year according to Kobsak.
The double entry visa would have a time limit though exactly how long this might be has not yet been announced.
Kobsak also mentioned the possibility of applying online.
Changes to the visa arrangements appear to be in the latter stages of discussion though no timeframe for their implementation has been announced as yet.
But there is one relative certainty – the border checkpoints for tourists at both Nong Khai and Sadao (the posts between Thailand and Laos and Thailand and Malaysia respectively) will be open 24 hours for a three month trial.
Kobsak said this would happen either at the end of this year or the beginning of next. Following the trial the numbers would be crunched to see if it is worth continuing.
In addition the number of VAT refund spots is being increased from the current five, he said along with plans to create walking streets at several popular tourist spots.
The Deputy Secretary General’s comments come just a day after reports that room occupancy and tourism was 20% down in Pattaya.