Yesterday, the cabinet announced that they would drop the THB1,000 visa fee for visitors from 19 countries to encourage tourism over the high season, from December 1 until February 28.

The 19 countries that won’t have to pay for visas received in advance include: Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The waived fee applies to visas obtained at Thai embassies and consular offices. Visa on arrival costs for entrants from these 19 countries will also be halved during high season this year. So, instead of costing THB2,000 for a visa on arrival, it will cost THB1,000.

Combined, the government expects that these reduced and waived fees will increase tourist numbers by more than 357,000 over the high season. They expect that those increased arrivals will create revenue of THB28,703 million, reported Thai PBS.

It’s also believed that the fee scheme will create 62,000 short-term jobs and boost tax revenue by THB1.2 million.