BANGKOK, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Thai cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to extend visa-on-arrival fee exemption from Jan. 13 to April 30 in a bid to attract foreign tourists during Chinese new year and Songkran water splashing festival.
The cabinet approved a draft ministerial regulation proposed by the Immigration Bureau, which said the current visa-on-arrival fee exemption that started from Nov. 15 last year worked well.
Statistics released in the summary of cabinet meeting on Tuesday showed that foreign tourists asking for visa-on-arrival in Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport 45 days after Nov. 15 grew as much as 173 percent than 45 days before Nov. 15, while the number even surged 246 percent in Chiang Mai airport.
"We continue the visa-on-arrival fee exemption to attract more tourists to visit Thailand during the festivals to be celebrated in the kingdom, such as the Chinese New Year, and Songkran to boost our tourism continually", said Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports Weerasak Kowsurat to media on Tuesday.
The proposal still has to be released on the Royal Gazette to formally come into effect.
Tourists from 21 countries and regions, including China, India and Ethiopia can enjoy the visa-on-arrival fee exemption until late April this year.