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Thailand Tourism Association calls for visa fee exemption for Chinese tourists
The Association of Thai Travel Agents (ATTA) plans to urge the tourism minister to exempt Chinese tourists from paying the single-entry visa fee.
Vichit Prakobgosol, president of ATTA, said the measure was necessary to draw Chinese tourists back to the kingdom following a series of unfortunate events that have prompted them to shun Thailand. 
The ATTA has previously called on the Tourism Ministry to provide double-entry visas for Chinese tourists at the same cost as a single-entry visa. The proposal was raised after a tour boat with Chinese tourists sank in the sea off Phuket early September.
After the accident, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan blamed the incident on a Chinese firm for allegedly operating the tour boat services in Thailand illegally. His comment enraged many Chinese tourists, who vowed to boycott Thailand.
Vichit said he will put forward the modified proposal when he meets Tourism and Sports Minister Weerasak Kowsurat on Thursday. 
Vichit said the earlier double-entry visa proposal would not be enough to regain the confidence of Chinese tourists after another incident, where a Chinese man was hit by a security guard at Don Mueang International Airport. Also, Chinese tourists have complained they were required to pay a tip of Bt300 at the immigration counters at the Don Mueang airport. 
If the tourism minister disagrees with the single-entry fee exemption, the ATTA will ask him to allow Chinese tourists to get a multiple entry visa at the same cost of a single entry visa. If the proposal is approved, a Chinese tourist will pay Bt1,000 for a multiple entry visa instead of Bt5,000. 
However, if the proposal is rejected again, the ATTA will stand by its double-entry visa request that would allow each Chinese tourist to enter the kingdom twice at the cost of Bt1,000, Vichit added.
  Source: The Nation

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