The Cabinet of Thailand recently decided to extend the term of measures to stimulate the tourism sector by another year, including visa fee exemption for foreign tourists.
According to deputy government spokesman Watchara Kannika, the Cabinet has agreed to extend these measures from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011. Apart from the visa fee exemption policy, other measures include reduced aircraft landing and parking fees, providing free-of-charge riot protection insurance worth USD10,000 for each foreign tourist and boosting domestic spending.
Kannika commented this decision would help to achieve the goal of attracting 15.3 million to 15.5 million foreign tourists visiting Thailand in 2010.
Tourism revenues account for 6% of Thailand's GDP. The Ministry of Tourism and Sports reported that the number of foreign tourists visiting the country in 2009 was 14.09 million, down 8% on 2008, with a total income of THB527 billion, down 3% from 2008.
The tourism stimulus measures were due to terminate at the end of April 2010.