Bangkok, 17 September, 2018 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that the Thai government has implemented automatic channels for Hong Kong Special Administration Region (SAR) passport holders to use at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang International Airports.
Under this cooperation, Hong Kong SAR passport holders who travel by air will be allowed to use automatic channels to enter Thailand. Reciprocal rights are also granted to holders of Thai passports who enroll using the e-channel services available for travel to Hong Kong.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, said the automatic channels were an important step that will help increase inbound tourist arrivals from Hong Kong.
“Seamless immigration processing for Hong Kong SAR passport holders is an important step in the right direction. The cooperation on the mutual use of automatic immigration services between the two sides will help enhance immigration processing and facilitate a greater flow of visitors to Thailand.
“Hong Kong travellers are a very important source market for Thailand. Most are repeat visitors who keep coming back to enjoy the many unique Thai local experiences Thailand has to offer and especially for delicious Thai food.”
The automatic channel is reserved for visitors who wish to enter Thailand for tourism purposes (a 30-day exemption scheme). For other types of visits, visitors need to apply for a visa through the regular immigration process at the Royal Thai Embassy in Hong Kong.
The Immigration Bureau of Thailand said that the decision to use the automatic channel was based on security and reciprocity as agreed by the Royal Thai Government and the Government of the Hong Kong SAR. It marks another significant step of close cooperation between the two sides and reflects the mutual efforts to promote closer ties since signing a visa exemption agreement in 1997.
The statistics from Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports show that the kingdom continues to be the all-time favourite for Hong Kong travellers.
In 2017. Thailand welcomed 820,894 visitors from Hong Kong, up from 751,264 recorded in 2016. Meanwhile, the revenue generated totalled 33.70 billion Baht when compared to 30.40 billion Baht earned in the previous year.
In 2018, between January and July, a total of 569,239 travellers from Hong Kong visited Thailand. Tourism revenue earned from the market during this year’s first seven-month period amounted to 23.84 billion Baht.