October 17, 2023
BANGKOK – PM Srettha Thavisin told reporters prolonging visa-free entry for Russians would boost tourism in Thailand.
Srettha, who doubles as finance minister, said the policy was developed to accommodate tourists who visit Thailand to escape the cold Russian winter from December to March.
The PM also revealed plans to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation meeting in Beijing from October 16 to 21.
Thailand welcomed just over 20 million (20,051,535) foreign tourists in the first nine months of 2023 (January to September), with Russian travellers ranking fifth at 994,431 visitors, according to government data.
The highest number of arrivals was from Malaysia (3,280,622), followed by China (2,509,698), South Korea (1,197,763), and India (1,165,935).
Srettha’s administration has already offered travellers from China and Kazakhstan 30-day visa-free entry from September 25 until the end of February next year.