NEW THAI TOURISM MINISTER OUTLINES “FUTURE DIRECTIONS”
 
 

BANGKOK, February 15, 2008 — H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, the new Thai Minister of Tourism and Sports paid his first visit to the offices of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) this morning for discussions about the future directions of Thai tourism.He was welcomed by TAT Governor Mrs. Phornsiri Manoharn who gave him a detailed briefing of the TAT’s various projects, programmes and activities worldwide.

H.E. Mr. Weerasak complimented the TAT executives for their professionalism and said he was very impressed with their promotion and marketing of an industry that has become one of Thailand’s most important foreign exchange earners and job creators. He also took the opportunity to identify some key areas where the new government could play a role in order to address outstanding issues and challenges including the importance of strengthening the Thai brand image.

He also took the opportunity to brief TAT on the priorities of the new Royal Thai Government with regard to tourism, as the Minister has a strong understanding of the industry itself and identified some key areas where the new government could play a role in order to address outstanding issues and challenges including the importance of strengthening the Thai brand image.

He also agreed for the need to focus more on generating high spending visitors rather than mass volume traffic, but also noted that projections of visitor arrivals and foreign exchange earnings should be regarded more as “hopes” and “expectations” rather than compulsory targets.

The Minister also mentioned the importance of the need of the public and private sectors to work together on the basis of mutual trust and respect along the principles of good governance and transparency, with a strong level of public accountability. Furthermore, they should clarify various issues such as convenience, hygiene, and safety and needs of tourists, which will all help to encourage more people to travel.

He said that a strong and efficient travel and tourism industry would benefit everyone and allow all the stakeholders to get their fair share of the resulting business. This would be further enhanced by conducting an inventory of Thailand’s tourism products and destinations with a SWOT analysis carried out to identify each of their strengths and weaknesses. The selected products will be classified into five “classes” — cluster, provincial, national, regional class and world class.

The Minister supported the continued promotion of Thailand as a film-making destination, noting the positive and long-lasting visual impact of documentaries, advertising clips and feature films, as well as, stressed the importance of small and medium sized enterprises and called for more efforts to promote investments in travel and tourism, noting that it is not just visitors that the country must attract but those involved in the cinema industry and investors, too.

Although he made it clear that at the moment TAT executives were being provided with a sense of direction, the official policy would follow after being endorsed and approved by the Thai cabinet.

Mrs Phornsiri said, “The Minister is said to be one of the youngest members of the Thai cabinet, and because of his legal background, has a very clear and precise sense of direction about what needs to be done, how and over what timeframe. As such we all welcome that and are all very proud to have a young and dynamic Minister at our helm. He can certainly count on our continued support and commitment in helping him and the newly-elected Royal Thai Government fulfill their electoral promises and responsibilities”.

Contact information:
International Public Relation Division
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
E-mail: prdiv3@tat.or.th
Web site: www.tatnews.org

Foreign citizen who wishes to visit Thailand for business purpose may apply for a three-year Non-Immigrant Visa “B”.  This type of visa may be issued to businessmen for multiple-entries and is valid for 3 years.  It allows holder to visit Thailand as often as required for as long as the visa remains valid and allows holder to stay in Thailand for a period of not exceeding 90 days during each visit.  Employment of any kind is strictly prohibited for holder of such visa.

Place of application
Application is to be submitted at the Royal Thai Embassy or the Royal Thai Consulate-General in the applicant’s country of residence, or at the Royal Thai Embassy which has jurisdiction over his or her country of residence.  However, Royal Thai Consulate-General headed by Honorary Consul-General is not authorized to issue this type of visa.  Applicant may enquire about authorized office for visa issuance at any Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate-General.  Information on contact details and locations of Royal Thai Embassies and Royal Thai Consulates-General is also available at www.mfa.go.th/web/10.php

Required Documentation
Applicant for a three-year Non-Immigrant Visa “B” must submit the following:

Basic documents
1. An application form completed in full and signed by applicant.
2. A passport valid for travelling to Thailand with sufficient remaining validity.
3. Two passport-sized photographs (4×6cm) taken within the previous 6 months.

Additional documents which may be requested
4. National Identity Card, Residence documentation or valid proof of identity.
5. A letter from the employer giving details of the applicant’s position, length of employment, salary and purpose of the visit(s) to Thailand.  If the applicant is self-employed, he or she must provide documentation of his or her business undertaking such as business registration and details of business operation.
6. Copies of correspondence with business partners in Thailand.
7. A letter of invitation from trading or associated partners/companies in Thailand.
8. Corporate documents of associated partners/companies in Thailand such as:
- business registration and business license
- list of shareholders
- company profile
- details of business operation
- map indicating location of the company
- balance sheet, statement of Income Tax and Business Tax (Por Ngor
Dor 50 and Por Ngor Dor 30) of the latest year
- value-added tax registration (Por Por 20)
9. A letter of recommendation from previous employer or business associations of which the applicant is member.
Visa fee
- The fee is 500 SGD.

Remarks
- The required additional documents (4 – 9) may be submitted upon request.
Supplementary documents may be requested as and when necessary.
- The issuance of visa is at discretion of the consular officer.
- Visa fee is non-refundable.

Type

Current Fee

Transit Visa

35 SGD per entry

Tourist Visa

50 SGD per entry

Non-Immigrant Visa
Visa B

Visa ED
Visa O-A (Long Stay)
Visa O (Thai Spouse)
 
Single entry

85 SGD

1 Year Multiple entry

220 SGD

Three-year Non-Immigrant Visa ‘B’

500 SGD

Office Hours of the Visa Section09:15am - 11:30am. (application submission only)
02:00pm - 4:30pm. (collecting only)
Minimum visa processing time (2 working days)

Please be informed that the Royal Thai Embassy accepts only cash in Singapore dollars in exact amount
.

 

Visa Application Form (download here)


Updated Information and Links

BANGKOK: — The Royal Thai Consulate in Penang is expected to impose stricter rules regarding the issuing of Tourist Visas.
The Royal Thai Consulate-General in Penang as from TOMORROW, February 1 2008, will only issue Tourist Visas to those in possession of an air ticket departing from Thailand to an international destination not local in the same region. (i.e. not Vietnam, Malaysia or similar.)

It is believed that the reason for the tightening of the rules is to reduce the number of foreigners using tourist visas to stay long term in Thailand, and not for tourism purposes for which this visa is intended, therefore abusing the system.

Our source is from a reliable person, who normally provides us with accurate information, and we have no reason to doubt the accuracy of this information.

Bangkok’s international airport (code = BKK) is known as Suvarnabhumi (pronounced Su-wan-na-poom) and is located to the east of Thailand’s capital city. The airport opened in 2006 and the terminal building hosts international and domestic flights. Suvarnabhumi replaced Bangkok’s Don Muang airport (code = DMK) which no longer has international flights but does run some domestic services.Suvarnabhumi was initially plagued with a number of teething problems, but things have improved markedly since the initial opening. Spread over a number of floors, there are two options for getting between each level:

Walkways
Walkways (suitable for luggage trolleys) run between each level. Attendants are on hand at the end of each walkway for any passengers struggling to get their trolley off.
Elevators/Lifts
Modern elevators/lifts connect each level.

Level 1

The ground floor is the departure point for the airport express bus service which runs to various points in Bangkok. Buses to the nearby Public Transportation Centre also leave from Level 1. From the Public Transportation Centre, there are taxi services and onward connecting bus services to various parts of Bangkok and other provinces.

Some limousine services depart from Level 1 and travellers on organised tours may also find that their transport picks them up from this level.

Other services on Level 1 are the medical centre and the Thai restaurant favoured by airport staff.

Level 2

bangkok-immigration.jpg
This is the floor for arrivals, both international and domestic. Arriving on an international flight, passengers must clear immigration before entering the baggage reclaim area. Please ensure you fill out a Thai Immigration Bureau Arrival Card. These are normally handed out on your plane before touchdown, but a supply is also held at the information desk before you begin to queue at immigration control. Even if you already have a Thai visa, you are still required to complete the arrivals card. Failure to do so is one of the main reasons for the long queues that can develop at immigration control.

bangkok-airport-taxi.jpgOnce you’ve cleared immigration, collected your baggage and walked through customs, you go through the doors that lead into the arrivals hall. This is where you will almost certainly be asked if you want a taxi. The people doing the asking will be smartly dressed and carry official looking badges. They are representatives of limousine companies who will charge you a higher fare than normal to get you to your hotel. Once you ask one for a price, you will usually attract the attention of numerous others. If you want to catch the normal public taxi, ignore all of these apparently helpful individuals and head for the official public taxi rank located outside on Level 2 (by entrance door number 4).

Level 2 is home to a number of services for arriving passengers. These include:

  • Currency exchange and ATMs
  • Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
  • Association of Thai Travel Agents
  • Official Hotel Reservation
  • Mobile Phone Service (from Thai mobile/cellphone companies AIS and DTAC)
  • Tour Service
  • Airport of Thailand (AOT) limousine desk
  • Car rental (including Avis, Budget and Hertz)

As with the taxi touts, be wary of anybody approaching you offering airport services or information no matter how genuine they themselves may appear. Go to the appropriate official counter to be certain.

Level 3

This floor offers the most choice in terms of food and drink. As well as Thai, Chinese and Japanese food, there is an S & P Bakery, Black Canyon Coffee, Starbucks and the Miracle Food Village. Whether you fancy a green curry, a mango shake or an espresso, Level 3 has it covered.

As well as food and drink, Level 3 also has a hairdressing salon and a foot massage salon. TMB Bank and Siam Commercial Bank both offer exchange facilities as well as ATMs.

Level 4

This is the floor for departures, both domestic and international. Looking at the airport from the front, domestic departures are on the left-hand side and international on the right-hand side. There are a number of banks offering exchange and ATM facilities. There is also a Boots pharmacy, a Family Mart shop and a book store. Arriving at the airport by taxi, you will be dropped off at Level 4.

Domestic Departures

Check-in for domestic flights is area A-F.
Please note that it is quite a lengthy walk from the check-in desk to the actual departure gate particularly for the budget carriers like Air Asia so allow yourself plenty of time. Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, Nok Air, One-Two-Go and Thai Airways all have ‘buy and fly’ counters where you can purchase tickets. Note also that most of the budget/low-cost airlines have weight restrictions on baggage which are more strictly enforced than they used to be. Typical baggage allowance is one checked bag of 15kg and one item of hand luggage (maximum 7kg). See relevant company website for more details. If your bags are over the limit you will be required to pay an excess fee which normally means filling out a form and going to the appropriate desk before returning to check-in.

International Departures

As with the domestic departures, it can be quite a lengthy walk to the actual departure gate for international flights. In addition to this, the queues to clear passport control can be quite lengthy. My personal recommendation is to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before your international flight leaves and head for passport control as soon as you’ve checked in rather than hang around. There are plenty of eating, drinking and shopping facilities airside once you are through passport control.

Selected check-in areas:

  • British Airways – area N
  • Emirates Airlines – area T
  • Etihad – area Q
  • Eva Airways – area Q
  • Gulf Air – area T
  • Jalways and Japan Airlines – area R
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – area P
  • Lufthansa – area G
  • Qantas Airways – area N
  • Qatar Airways – area Q
  • Scandinavian Airlines – area K
  • Singapore Airlines – area K
  • Thai Airways – area C (and also A, B, H, J)
  • United Airlines – area L

Level 5

Airline offices and administration.

Level 6

Sky Loft and Sky Lounge dining.
ATM facilities.

BANGKOK: — The Royal Thai Consulate in Penang is expected to impose stricter rules regarding the issuing of Tourist Visas.

Thaivisa.com have been advised that the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Penang as from TOMORROW, February 1 2008, will only issue Tourist Visas to those in possession of an air ticket departing from Thailand to an international destination not local in the same region. (i.e. not Vietnam, Malaysia or similar.)

It is believed that the reason for the tightening of the rules is to reduce the number of foreigners using tourist visas to stay long term in Thailand, and not for tourism purposes for which this visa is intended, therefore abusing the system.

Our source is from a reliable person, who normally provides us with accurate information, and we have no reason to doubt the accuracy of this information.

The new ticket rule is not officially confirmed as yet.

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