Srettha’s Lunar New Year wishes: free-visa promotes travel

Srettha's Lunar New Year wishes: free-visa promotes travel

Srettha's Lunar New Year wishes: free-visa promotes travel
Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin sends a team of the Chinese media with a wai after an interview at Government House on Monday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

The lifting of visa requirements between Thailand and China will promote more contact between the two countries, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said in his well-wishing messages on Lunar New Year.

The prime minister wished the visa-free policy would facilitate and accelerate travel of Thais and the Chinese. “Thailand welcomes and already provides safety measures for Chinese visitors,” he said.

Mr Srettha, also the finance minister, commended both countries for “everlasting friendship” and wished Thailand and China would enjoy trade and investment prosperity during the Chinese New Year. “We are brothers,” he said on the occasion of the event.

Thai and Chinese travellers will freely enter their respective countries with no need to apply for visas from March 1. The new measure is aimed at promoting tourism between the two countries.

A traveller checks a display of train information at Beijing West railway station during the Spring Festival travel rush on Lunar New Year’s Eve, in Beijing, on Friday. (Photo: Reuters)

Thailand received 2.7 million international tourists, 444,000 of them from China, from Jan 1-28, according to latest figures shown by the government. Tourists from China topped international arrivals during the period and jumped five times from the same month of last year.

Thailand projected 35 million international tourists this year.

Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke said last week the target would be achievable and a chance to see the total number of tourists to return to the pre-Covid 19 level of 40 million would be possible.