Bangkok, 21 December 2023 – Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports together with 12 public agencies have highlighted a raft of new and ongoing measures and strategies to assure tourist confidence in Thailand and facilitate travel during this 2023-2024 year-end and New Year’s holidays that normally see the mass mobility and gatherings of people.
Ms. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, Minister of Tourism and Sports, said “The Prime Minister and Finance Minister, H.E. Mr. Srettha Thavisin, has instructed the relevant government agencies to exert every effort aimed at boosting confidence in Thailand in the festive season, especially among foreign tourists. The government places importance to ensure the tourism sector as the main economic stimulus to boost Thailand’s economy.”
Ahead of the year-end and New Year’s holidays, the 12 agencies have vowed to work together to facilitate the anticipated millions of travellers on the move.
The Airports of Thailand is utilising smart technologies to increase service capacity, including self-check-in and luggage-loading services.
The Immigration Bureau is facilitating visa-free stays for tourists from eligible countries and territories. It is also enabling passengers of all nationalities holding an electronic passport to use the Immigration Auto Channel at the International Departure, Passport Control, Suvarnabhumi Airport from 15 December 2023.
The Department of Land Transport is assuring assistance to tourists facing overpriced taxi services.
The Marine Department is improving piers along the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok and the surrounding areas into a ‘Smart Pier’ to provide convenience and safety for passengers, while ensuring that all boats must have a boating license and must pass a safety inspection.
The Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre, in collaboration with the Office of the Search and Rescue Commission and the relevant agencies, is operating a ‘Plan for Cooperation’ in line with the standards set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to provide sea-based tourism safety for maritime tourists.
The Department of Provincial Administration is maintaining orders in various regulations, including the recent government’s announcement to allow entertainment venues in some tourist areas in Bangkok, Phuket, Chon Buri, Chiang Mai, Surat Thani’s Ko Samui, as well as in legally registered hotels nationwide to extend opening hours until 4 am.
The Department of Tourism, which oversees the travel and tour guide business licensing, is working with the relevant agencies to ensure that all travel businesses and tour guides are operating legally and adhere to the standards and guidelines.
The Ministry of Public Health is cooperating with the relevant agencies to assist tourists in need of healthcare, especially in case of an accident and emergency.
The Office of Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports is providing assistance to tourist through its Tourist Assistance Centre (TAC) operations nationwide, comprising 17 TAC centres, 61 coordinating centres, and 246 officers.
The Tourist Police is ensuring tourist safety standards at attractions nationwide, while working closely with the Royal Thai Police to ensure tourist safety and coordinating with international organisations and foreign embassies in Thailand to provide assistance to foreign tourists.
Ms. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), said “Under the new ‘Thais Always Care’ online campaign, TAT will present and publicise online content to promote Thailand’s ongoing efforts to raise safety standards in the travel and tourism industry. Also, TAT will work with key opinion leaders or KOLs in various international markets about the variety of memorable tourism experiences to inspire foreign tourists to visit Thailand.”