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Thailand: Free visa plan may shutter consulates
23rd February, 2009
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The Phuket Gazette reports that the Thai government's move to waive tourist visa fees until March next year may lead to some honorary Thai consulates around the world closing. The Thailand Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that all foreigners applying for single-entry tourist visas at Thai embassies, consulates and honorary consulates will be exempt from fees. Yet some honorary Thai consulates fear the move will cost them millions of baht in lost visa revenue and could result in their closure. Alan Taylor, Honorary Thai Consul in Hull, UK, said the 450 honorary consulates worldwide relied on the money they bring in selling visas. “We won’t be closing but some will certainly be closing their doors,” he said.
Whether honorary consulates are closed or not, we wonder whether abolishing the fee will really sway a traveller's decision to go to Thailand or not. Will they really decide that saving say USD50 will make them go to Thailand rather than say Cambodia?
#1 Posted: 26/6/2009 - 10:16
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