11 July 2024

Chinese people in Beijing will be able to apply for visa to visit Thailand through online service starting February 15.

The e-visa system, jointly launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with Kasikornbank, will facilitate visa application for Chinese tourists, and will help ease the problem of congestion at Thai consular offices where Chinese tourists normally visit to apply for visa.

The system will also link up with the database of security agencies which is in line with the security standard set by the ICAO.

After Beijing, the online visa service will be extended to other cities in China, said an informed source, adding that China was chosen as the first country for the launch of the system because Chinese tourists represent 85 percent of all the visas applied at Thai consular offices globally.

The source said that the Foreign Ministry will launch similar online visa service in Britain and France on April 1 and plan to introduce the service in all countries where Thai embassies or consular offices are located within the next three years.

Kasikornbank president Predee Daochai said that the bank took part in the online visa service by providing support in electronic payments of visa fees which could handle transnational transactions of more than 126 currencies through different channels such as credit cards, QR code, Alipay or China Unionpay credit cards.

Predee said that he was optimistic that the online visa service would encourage Chinese tourists to return to Thailand.

Tourist arrivals from China has dropped sharply after the Phoenix tourist boat tragedy in the sea off Phuket in mid-July when 47 Chinese tourists drowned.  Many Chinese tour operators have boycotted visits to Thailand although individual Chinese tourists still continue to visit Thailand.