Thailand may extend free tourist visa promotion
In a bid to woo international visitors, Thailand has proposed the extension of a promotion giving free tourist visas. Under the current promotion effective from 1 December 2016 until 28 February 2017, single-entry tourist visas issued at Thai embassies and consulates worldwide are free of charge.
Thailand’s tourism-minister says extending the offer for another three months would likely encourage more people to choose Thailand for their holidays. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul was attending an ASEAN forum in Singapore and she told attendees the extension would give the national tourism industry a shot in the arm as the traditional off-peak season is fast approaching.
Although passport-holders from the US, the UK, most EU countries and another 50 nations are offered visa-exempt entry for 30 days at Thai airports, others have to pre-apply for tourist visas or obtain visas on arrival. Standard tourist visas cost the equivalent of THB1,000 and give 60 days in-country from the date of entry.
Visas on arrival usually cost THB2,000, but during the current promotional period the price has been halved to THB1,000. MS Wattanavrangkul did not state whether this promotion would be extended as well. People taking advantage of the free visa option will find 12GO ASIA provides economically priced tickets on routes from Bangkok to the likes of Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Tao and Trang.
Bangkok’s governor says the city’s sole Bus Rapid Transit line is not heading for the scrap heap after all. Aswin Kwanmuang told media reporters the service will not be axed as planned next month and instead fares will go up to cover a shortfall in income.
Authorities in Ho Chi Minh City say they are adding the finishing touches to a plan to turn the downtown precinct into a pedestrian one. Tran Quang Lam is the assistant-director of the city’s Transport Department and he says the 2.2km² zone would become a no-go area for all forms of motorised transport.
Architects and academics have united in a bid to persuade Thailand’s railway operator to save the nation’s heritage stations from the wrecking ball. King Mongkut Institute of Technology’s Parinya Chukaew and leading architect Pongkwan Lassus say the country’s elderly rail stations have high cultural value.