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Thailand extends visa fee waivers to boost tourism as growth slows

Thailand extends visa fee waivers to boost tourism as growth slows

Thailand extends visa fee waivers to boost tourism as growth slows
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By Reuters Aug 20, 2019 2:42:15 PM IST (Updated)

The waivers are part of a $10-billion stimulus package to boost growth, including a debt moratorium for farmers, loans for smaller businesses, and more money for low-income earners.

Thailand will extend until April next year a measure that waives fees for visas on arrival issued to tourists from 18 countries, as it looks to stimulate growth in tourism to spur a slowing economy, the prime minister said on Tuesday.

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The waivers are part of a $10-billion stimulus package to boost growth, including a debt moratorium for farmers, loans for smaller businesses, and more money for low-income earners.
"The cabinet approved the extension of fee waivers until April 2020," Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha told reporters, adding that the scheme would cover Lunar New Year and the Thai new year, Songkran.
Foreign tourist receipts make up about 12 percent of Southeast Asia's second largest economy, but arrivals increased just 0.89 percent in June, with visitors from China, the biggest source, declining 7.1 percent from a year earlier.
The fee of 2,000 baht ($65) is to be waived until next year for travellers from 18 countries, including China and India.
But the cabinet rejected a proposal for visa-free entry for visitors from China and India, because of security concerns, government spokesman Narumon Pinyosinwat said.
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