BANGKOK: Thailand has launched a new electronic visa on arrival system for international travellers.
The service offers travellers a new experience when entering the country at the Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueng airports in Bangkok, as well as at Phuket and Chiang Mai airports.
It is part of a Thai initiative to promote tourism, and has been developed by the Immigration Bureau of Royal Thai Police and VFS Global.
In 2017, Thailand welcomed a record 35 million tourists, with tourism-generated income in Thailand amounting to around 2.6 trillion.
In 2018, over four million visitors used the conventional, time consuming visa on arrival service at Thai airports.
The new service offers travellers the conveniences of avoiding long queues, and eliminates the need to fill up application forms on arrival and arrange for paper documentation or local currency which travellers find challenging after a long flight.
Guests can visit the website, fill in the form, pay and get a visa emailed too them ahead of arrival.
Commenting on the new service, Surachate Hakparn, commissioner of the Immigration Bureau, Royal Thai Police, said: “With the electronic visa on arrival service, we are proud to offer a new age digital solution which will enhance the overall experience for the modern-day traveller who seeks to visit Thailand from 21 countries across the globe.
“In our cooperation with the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions VFS Global, we aim to effectively meet the objective of increasing tourism to the country through this solution especially taking into consideration the all-important security aspect that allows pre-check of travellers prior the arrival, as it offers time to the Immigration Bureau for effective assessment.”
The service is available to guests from Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.