Thailand extends visa-free stay for Russians
The Thai cabinet has decided to extend the period of stay for Russian tourists without a visa to 90 days, instead of the previous 30. This temporary measure, taken to attract more tourists, will be in effect from November 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024, as announced by Thai Prime Minister Settha Thavisin.
"Winter in Russia usually lasts from December to March, and this time can be very cold. Thus, Russians may be tempted to travel abroad. The limitation of one month without a visa may not be enough. That's why we would like our guests from Russia to spend more time in Thailand," Thai PBS TV channel Thai PBS quoted Thavisin as saying. "Usually Russians do without a visa when entering Thailand. This time, however, we have increased the stay to 90 days," added Minister of Tourism and Sports Sudawan Wangsupphakitkoson.
Mr. Thavisin also expressed hope to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Third One Belt, One Road International Forum to be held in Beijing from October 17 to 18. He said the extension of Russians' visa-free stay in Thailand is a "friendly gesture" that will help hold productive talks with the Russian leader on other issues.
Not long ago, Thai authorities set new rules for extending the period of stay in the country for Russian citizens. Since September 27 this year, Russians who came to Thailand with a 30-day visa-free stamp can extend their stay for an additional 30 days. For this service will have to pay 1.9 thousand baht (about $50). More than 20 million foreign visitors have traveled to Thailand since the beginning of the year. Most of them came from neighboring Malaysia - 3.3 million, these citizens usually prefer the southern regions of the kingdom. The next largest numbers were China (2.6 million), South Korea (1.2 million), India (1.19 million), and Russia (1.016 million). In 2019, Russia was the seventh-largest supplier country for tourists to Thailand, with a total of 1.5 million Russians visiting the country. In the same year, the number of foreign tourists in the kingdom reached a record high of 40 million.
The Thai government has recently updated the procedure of extension of stay for Russian citizens. Since September 27 this year, Russians who arrived in Thailand with a 30-day visa stamp can now extend their stay for another 30 days. The cost of this service is 1.9 thousand baht, which is equivalent to approximately $50. Since the beginning of this year, Thailand has welcomed more than 20 million foreign visitors. Most of them came from neighboring Malaysia - 3.3 million, who mainly prefer the southern parts of the kingdom. Other key sources of tourists include China (2.6 million), South Korea (1.2 million), India (1.19 million) and Russia (1.016 million). In 2019, Russia ranked seventh among the countries sending the most tourists to Thailand, with a total of 1.5 million Russian tourists. In the same year, the total number of foreign tourists in the kingdom reached an all-time high of 40 million.