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Thailand's PM to look into extending tourist visas to 90 days

The new government will consider extending tourist visa validities from 30 days to 90 days and the easing of immigration procedures, to make them more convenient for foreign tourists, said Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, responding to call from tourism business operators for the government to boost the tourism industry.

He also said, however, that the proposal from some tourism business operators for the government to exempt entry visas for tourists from China, India and Russia is a different issue, which has security implications and has to be considered carefully.

The prime minister met today (Saturday) with tourism businesses in Phang-nga province, to listen to their problems and their recommendations for tourism promotion and views on the potential of wellness and health tourism along the Andaman coast.

The meeting also discussed the possibility of renovating an old airport in Phang-nga, to accommodate small commercial planes, and the promotion of tourism in local communities, to boost sales of local products and the incomes of local people.

It is reported that there are about 3,000 communities which have the potential to develop a local tourism business, but most of them are not properly registered and, therefore, have no access to state support.

The prime minister told the meeting’s participants that, although the Pheu Thai party does not have a single MP in Phang-nga, Krabi, Phuket or Ranong provinces, he will treat these provinces without discrimination and will try to boost tourism there, because he wants “to be the prime minister for all Thais.”

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