Travel Gossip: China & Thailand Announce Permanent Visa-Free Travel

By Billy Jiang, January 4, 2024

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In an exciting development for travel enthusiasts, China and Thailand have mutually agreed to permanently waive visa requirements, facilitating seamless travel between the two countries. 

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Bangkok Post reports on the permanent visa-free scheme. Screenshot by That's

According to the Bangkok Post, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin made the announcement on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, with the new policy set to take effect from March 1, 2024.

Under this arrangement, citizens of both nations will no longer need to go through the visa application process for visits to each other's countries, fostering stronger cultural ties and encouraging tourism.

During a routine press briefing by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 2, the spokesperson stated: 

"The further strengthening of cultural exchanges and mutual visa exemptions between China and Thailand aligns with the fundamental interests of the people of both countries.

"Currently, relevant authorities from both sides are in close communication on specific matters, and we look forward to the early implementation of these arrangements."

This move builds upon Thailand's previous visa-free program for Chinese visitors, which was initially set to conclude on February 29, 2024.

Last year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand reported that Chinese tourists constituted the second-largest group of visitors to Thailand, with approximately 3.42 million Chinese visitors. 

Despite a declining trend in the total number of flights between China and Thailand, the latest visa-free announcement has sparked positive trends. 

READ MORE: Travel Gossip: Chinese Airlines Cancel 9,000 Flights to Thailand

According to data from China's travel booking platform, Ctrip (Trip.com), searches for keywords related to Thailand surged by over 90% within an hour of the announcement. 

Flight searches for routes like Shanghai to Bangkok and Beijing to Bangkok witnessed a sudden increase of over 40%.

As per Ctrip's data, from January 2 to the Lunar New Year, tourism bookings from China to Thailand have increased more than tenfold compared to 2023. 

Similarly, bookings from Thailand to the Chinese mainland have seen a remarkable 779% year-on-year growth.

READ MORE: Foreigner Deported from China for Cannabis Use in Thailand


Did You Know

Popular Chinese destinations for Thai tourists in 2023:

  • Shanghai

  • Guangzhou

  • Beijing

  • Harbin

  • Chengdu

  • Kunming

  • Shenzhen

  • Hangzhou

  • Chongqing

  • Changsha

For more information on travel in China, stay tuned to our WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.


[Cover image by Billy Jiang/That's]

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