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Cabinet Approves Long Stay Tourism Plan in Principle
Published: September 16, 2020 at 5:20 pm
The Thai Cabinet has greenlit the Special Tourist Visa scheme for long-stay tourism in Thailand.
The Cabinet of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has approved a special scheme that will allow tourists who are seeking long-stay arrangements to enter Thailand as early as next month.
According to Trisulee Traisanakul, Deputy Spokeswoman for the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet has approved on Tuesday, September 15, the Special Tourist Visa scheme or the STV scheme initially proposed by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports under Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn.
According to Ms. Trisulee, there will be three criteria to be used in assessing a foreigner’s eligibility for the Special Tourist Visa program. These are, as follows:
The foreigner must be interested in staying in Thailand for a period of at least 90 days.
The foreigner must agree to serve a 14-day quarantine period at an approved Alternative Local State Quarantine in the province or city he or she will be traveling to.
The foreigner must be able to provide proof of capability for long-term residency in the Kingdom as well as proof of payment for his or her Alternate State Quarantine arrangement.
For the third criteria, the following documents will be accepted as proof of long-term residency:
Proof of payment for the accommodation he or she will be staying at after ending the 14-day quarantine. This could be proof of hotel reservation or hospital accommodation, if traveling for medical tourism
Documentary evidence of ownership in an apartment or condominium belonging to the foreigner, or belonging to direct family members of the foreigner.
Proof of rental or ownership of apartment, condominium or house by the foreigner
Foreigners applying for the STV will be strictly vetted through these criteria before they will be awarded the special visa.
The Special Tourist Visa grants a one-time stay of 90 days, and will cost THB2,000 to apply for. After the initial 90 days, if they wish to stay further in Thailand, the visa holders will be able to apply for another 90-day extension.
The extension limit is only two times, which means that STV holders will be able to stay in the Kingdom for a total of 270 days.
The Special Tourist Visa and its governing regulation will be valid until September 30, 2021.
According to Ms. Trisulee, the Special Tourist Visa is part of the government’s drive to revive the badly hit tourism industry, and to stimulate the economy.
As the program is already approved in principle, the Prime Minister’s Deputy Spokesperson said that they are expecting 1,200 tourists arriving in Thailand per month as soon as the Cabinet gives the green light for the project.
Ms. Trisulee did not specify when exactly the scheme will begin to be implemented.
Finance Permanent Secretary Prasong Poontaneat said that Thailand needs to capture the market created from countries that had minimal or no spread of the coronavirus in the past months in order to generate income for the economy.
Secretary Prasong highlighted 20 provinces in China that remained COVID-free for the past few months. If the tourist industry can bring in at least 1% of their combined 800 million population, it can bring in significant revenues for the tourism industry.