The forgotten and failed Special Tourist Visa will live to see another year.
The Cabinet this week extended the STV for another year, although virtually no one has used it.
Government spokeswoman Traisuree Traisoranakul said, over the past year, only 5,609 tourists had obtained an STV to visit Thailand spending a paltry 1.2 billion baht over the past 12 months.
The STV allows stays of 90-270 days without having to leave the country, does not require bank statements and requires only that 20,000-baht of post-quarantine accommodations be prebooked.
The top countries using the STV were China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and Croatia, Traisuree said. The average stay was 90 days.
The government now aims to attract more tourists who are interested in staying in Thailand for 90 to 270 days and believes this special long-stay visa program will contribute greatly to Thailand’s attempt to revive its tourism sector, she claimed, despite evidence to the contrary.
Tourism and Sports Minister Pipat Ratchakitprakarn earlier called the STV a flop, noting its use fell far below expectations.