By Ashoke RajNew Delhi [India], November 27 (ANI): The Thailand Embassy in India has advised Indians to obtain visas from the embassy or consulate to avoid long queues.
Thailand has opened its borders to tourism and the number of passengers and tourists at Bangkok airport has increased leading to long passenger queues at the Bangkok airport seen standing in line for hours.
The reason for the long queues is to get immigration clearance and the number of people taking on-arrival visas is high. Thailand is attracting tourists in a big way after nearly two years of closure due to the COVID pandemic.
Thailand's Ambassador to India, Pattarat Hongtong, on Sunday advised Indians to obtain a Thailand visa from the embassy or consulate general to avoid long queues at the Bangkok airport.
Post COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand has opened its border to all citizens and international visitors have been complaining on social media and to the Thai authorities about the long queues at the airport for immigration clearance at Bangkok airport.
"I think this is quite natural for any airport, not only in Thailand. When we open the borders, nobody can expect the actual number of incoming visitors or tourists. So that's why for Indians we advise them to get the visa from the Embassy or Consulate General before travelling to Thailand that can be helpful to things," the Thai ambassador to India told ANI.
She also stressed the preparation at the airport and increasing staff including how to ease the crowd, adding that work is underway to provide the best services to international visitors to Thailand.
"We have tried to improve by increasing the people who work at the airport to facilitate the tourists," Pattarat told ANI.
According to the Thai government report, "Thailand received 3.78 million tourists from January to August 17 this year post covid."The tourists were mainly from Malaysia, India and Singapore. Thailand's economy is heavily dependent on tourism.
Highlighting the increase in waiting hours, Pattarat said that Thailand has ordered to increase the staff at the airport. "Long queues on-arrival visa applicants are one of the reasons too," she said.
"Visa on the arrival of course as is the key reason...I would say long queue waiting for the two reasons for the immigration and on-arrival visa that's quite normal at the beginning. But we are trying to improve and increase our services for people and tourists for facilitation," added the Thai envoy.
Speaking to ANI, Pattarat said that on the sidelines of the Tourism Authority (TAT) in collaboration with Team India, Thailand is organizing Amazing Thailand Fest 2022 from November 25-27 at The Mall, Saket, New Delhi, to encourage Indian travellers to travel to Thailand.
On being asked post-COVID about any plan to hike the visa fees for especially Indians or any changes for the on-arrival visa, the Thai envoy said, "For the visa fees hikes.. it includes so many factors or type of visa.....aligned with many organisation and ministry.... Right now we don't have any plan to increase visa fees," added Pattarat. (ANI)