BANGKOK, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) has proposed alternative measures on long stays and visa on arrivals to the Immigration Bureau to further boost tourism in Thailand, Thai media Prachachat reported on Wednesday.
TCT President Chairat Trirattanajarasporn said he met with deputy commissioner of the Immigration Bureau Nathapol Sawaengkit on Tuesday to discuss issues concerning tourist safety, cross-border tourism and the recent incentive of long stays and fee exemptions for visa on arrivals valid for 20 countries and extended until 31 October.
Both Chairat and Nathapol agreed to find alternatives to further promote medical tourism and long stay promotions, according to Chairat.
Chairat told Thai media that the Kingdom has become a popular destination for cosmetic and plastic surgery with more than 1,000 private medical facilities available.
"Not only that, we have seen a surge in increase of patients coming from Middle East countries, Europe and America," said Chairat. "these patients come to Thailand to conduct heart surgery and other medical implants because they do not want to be placed in a long queue back in their countries under the medicare health system."
Chairat added that many medical tourists flock to Thailand for liposuction and gender reassignment surgery because the medical costs are quite affordable.
According to Thai media, Nathapol said it is the Immigration Bureau's responsibility to define and craft up visa measures to facilitate tourists' stay in Thailand.
Nathapol further added that the Immigration Bureau will find measures to maintain tourism growth from the low season to the high season.
Without promotions, tourists would shift to neighboring countries which were offering free visas and other interesting promotions, Nathapol said.
The meeting also discussed multiple visas for businesspeople and visitors to meetings.