Thailand relaxes restrictions for visitors

Foreign tourists can apply to visit country for up to 270 days

author icon By Anna Cummins | 22 September 2020

Maya Bay, Phi Phi Island

The Thai government has approved a long-term, extendable tourist visa that means visitors can stay for at least 90 days, following a compulsory 14-day quarantine period. 

The Special Tourist Visa (STV) scheme also includes two 90-day extensions, meaning the lengthiest period for the new visa would be 270 days. To secure the visa, visitors must meet several criteria, including having medical insurance cover up to US$100,000, proof of payment for accommodation, and a health certificate issued within 72 hours of their flight. 

Details of the news were announced after a special cabinet meeting, held on September 15.

Gordon Fernandes, co-founder of yacht service agents Asia Pacific Superyachts (APS), has confirmed that APS is in talks with the Thai government to suggest yacht owners be permitted to do the 14-day mandatory quarantine on board their yacht.

Phuket Ao Po Grand Marina

Phuket Ao Po Grand Marina

Fernandes says he is also working with others to seek permission from the government to ensure the Special Tourist Visa can also be used for yacht crews visiting Thailand, noting Phuket marinas are enthusiastically welcoming the reopening. 

“Marinas are playing an increasingly important role globally and in Southeast Asia. Phuket marinas can handle all the needs of a superyacht, and berths are available for yachts up to 130 metres in length at any one of Phuket’s many fully equipped marinas”. 

 

 

He adds: “There is a growing superyacht labour force with excellent docking facilities. Superyacht visits are increasing exponentially, and over the past 15 years, approximately 1,500 yachts and cruisers have visited the ‘Pearl of the Andaman’ annually.

Captain Charlie Dwyer, a co-founder of Asia Pacific Superyachts who is based in Koh Samui says: “On the eastern side of the country, the Gulf of Thailand and Koh Samui have also been seeing more superyachts visit each year, and we want to help to start bringing them back.”

Thailand Angthong Marine National Park

Thailand Angthong Marine National Park

In an article in the Bangkok Post, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha announced after the cabinet meeting that the most important condition of the new visa would be the 14-day quarantine. 

“Visitors can arrive for tourism or health servic es, and they can stay at alternative state quarantine facilities, specific areas or at hospitals that function as quarantine facilities,” he said, adding, “Our public health system is amongst the best in the world and people can have confidence in it.”

The Gulf of Thailand and Koh Samui have also been seeing more superyachts visit each year, and we want to help to start bringing them back

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisaranakul has stated the target is to welcome up to 1,200 people a month, and generate income of about 1 billion baht (US$31 million) per month.