Thailand easing requirements for visitors
As Thailand eases visitor restrictions and tourism rises, an increasing number of yacht owners are looking to cruise to the Kingdom.
After significant changes to entering Thailand came into effect on June 1, more foreign-flagged vessels are expressing interest in visiting Phuket’s Andaman Sea and Koh Samui’s Gulf of Thailand, revealed Asia Pacific Superyachts.
Gordon Fernandes, the Phuket-based APS co-founder, said: “We are happy to share the news of Thailand’s revised arrival rules and relaxed Covid measures, which are creating more interest in visiting Thailand. It’s great the country hasn’t lost its appeal and we’re thrilled to be welcoming more visiting yachts in the months ahead.”
Currently all crew must have a Certificate of Entry (CoE) before arriving in a Thai port, although APS says this rule is expected to change on July 1. The agent can assist with the application, which needs to be done via an Embassy/Consulate outside Thailand. This needs to be applied for around two weeks in advance and the consulate needs time to approve it for another three days after documents are completed.
Since June 1, vaccinated visitors arriving by land and air need to register in advance on Thailand Pass and attach soft copies of passport, proof of insurance (with at least US$10,000 coverage for medical treatment in Thailand) and certificate of vaccination. If a visitor is unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, they must attach a Covid-19 RT-PCR or Professional ATK test result issued within 72 hours before travelling.
If a visitor has previously been issued with a Thailand Pass, they can travel with the issued QR Code and do not need to register for a new Thailand Pass. However, the Tourism and Sport Ministry has proposed to abolish the Thailand Pass system, so the only requirements for visitors to the country would be vaccine certificates and insurance.
Samui-based Captain Charlie Dwyer, also an APS co-founder, said: “We are pleased Thailand has not only revised arrival rules and relaxed Covid measures for international visitors but also that the country continues to move forward in their efforts to welcome back foreign-flagged vessels to once again cruise these beautiful waters.”
Meanwhile, tourism operators have reached an agreement with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to propose a visa-fee exemption for international arrivals and an eligibility extension for visitors from nations not requiring a visa to enter the country from 30 to 45 days during the second half of this year, as reported in the Bangkok Post on June 12.
Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourist Association, said: “All tourists should have been treated on an equal basis. If possible, we should also provide a fee waiver for multiple entry to allow them to visit neighbouring countries during the same trip. This could be a good opportunity for us to lead the reopening of CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam).”
Thailand grants a visa exemption to 56 countries whose citizens don’t have to apply for a visa or pay the THB1,000 fee, but the stay is limited to 30 days. Visitors from non-exempt countries are required to apply for a visa and pay an application fee for a stay of no more than 60 days.