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Effective March 1st: Thailand Signs Mutual Visa Exemption Agreement with China

According to Thai Foreign Minister, Mr. Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, on Sunday, January 28th, Thailand and China signed a visa waiver agreement in hopes of facilitating travel between the two countries. The agreement was signed with China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, during his visit to Thailand.

In this Pacific Prime Thailand article, we’re going to go over what this visa waiver agreement entails and when the changes will come into effect.

 What the Visa Exemption Entails

The mutual visa exemption will take effect on the first of March. With this visa exemption, Thai passport holders can enter and stay for up to 30 days in China even without visas.

This, however, only applies to visits under 30 days. For Thais who enter China for work, study, news reports, residence, or activities that require prior approval and plan to stay in the country for over 30 days, they must obtain the corresponding visa before entering.


Expected Results from the Visa-Free Scheme

Prior to the pandemic, Chinese tourists were Thailand’s largest group of visitors and were the key to recovery for the tourism industry as well as a prominent driver of economic growth.

As of 2019, mainland China travelers made up 27% of the 40 million foreign visitors in Thailand, but only 3.5 million out of 28 million last year. Meanwhile, Malaysia emerged with the largest number of visitors, coming in at 4.4 million.

Thai officials hope the deal will attract more Chinese expats and boost the country’s tourism sector, which has struggled to bounce back from the pandemic.

With the visa exemption scheme, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports anticipates an attraction of around 8 million Chinese visitors per year, generating approximately THB 320 billion in revenue from their spending.

The Thai government is targeting 35 million foreign visits this year.

Comments from Parties Involved in Thailand

According to Mr. Parnpee, “This agreement is a symbol of our long-lasting friendship, trust, and confidence, evidenced at every level.”

He added, “I am certain that travel, whether for tourism or business, will become more convenient, and help stimulate the tourism industry in both countries.”

Mr. Wang said, “From the first of March, our two countries will officially enter a visa-free era. This will surely bring our people-to-people exchanges to a new height. There will be a big increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Thailand.”

Thailand’s prime minister, Mr. Srettha Thavisin, stated that by implementing the visa-free scheme, Thailand’s domestic tourism market will flourish once more following the return of Chinese tourists.

The Impact of the Visa-Free Scheme in Thailand

As of press time, and according to Ctrip, the number of bookings from Chinese tourists heading to Thailand for the 2024 Spring Festival has increased by more than 13 times in comparison to the year before.

Among the travelers, 44% are families with children, almost half are around 45 years old, and 33% are in their 30s. This shows that Chinese tourists will return to Thailand, allowing Thailand’s tourism sector to bounce back once more after being struck by the pandemic.

Future: What Does This Mean for Thailand?

Mr. Parnpree said Thailand will promote trade, investment, security, and cooperation to facilitate connectivity and people-to-people relations.

During the meeting on Sunday, January 28th, both sides also agreed to speed up the development of the China-Laos-Thailand Railway, completely implement the China-Laos-Thailand Connectivity Development Corridor Outlook, and open the central line of the Trans-Asian Railway as soon as possible.

China will also import more specialty agriculture products from Thailand, support more Chinese companies in growth and investment in Thailand, and foster new drivers of cooperation in new energy vehicles, the digital economy, and green development.



In conclusion, the implementation of the visa-free scheme in both Thailand and China will not only boost tourism but also trade and export of goods, connectivity, investment, and growth opportunities for both countries.

Whether you’re a Thai tourist looking to travel to China or you’re looking to further pursue your career or educational endeavors in China, you will be happy to know you’ll be able to enter the country without any more visa concerns in no time.

Secure Health Insurance with Pacific Prime

With the new visa exemption measures on the horizon, traveling to China have not been made easier. However, there are also things you can do to make your time in China both safe and enjoyable – secure health insurance for you and your loved ones.

Pacific Prime is a veteran in insurance, and whether it’s travel insurance, individual health insurance, or family health insurance, we can help you find the right plans that match both your budget and your specific needs.

What’s more, if you secure insurance from us, you will also get our impartial advice and support at no extra cost. So, if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


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Content Writer at Pacific Prime Thailand
Wish Sutthatothon (Nickname: Guy) is currently a content writer at Pacific Prime Thailand, an insurance broker that connects individuals and businesses with insurance providers worldwide. He creates and edits blog articles, guides, reports, webpages, and other types of digital content.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts, Media & Communication major (concentration: Creative Content) from Mahidol University International College (MUIC). During the compulsory major elective period in the summer of 2021 and voluntarily during the summer of 2022, he also interned as a video and photo editor at Mbrella Films.

He has experience working as an English Content Writer at a real estate buying/renting/selling platform in Thonglor. There, he crafted company blog posts on a multitude of topics. Topics include market trends, legal issues and disputes in property businesses, financial guides, expat guides, home insurance, home decoration and maintenance, and weekly real estate news quick-recaps. Occasionally, as part of the blog-writing process, he would also translate existing Thai blogs to English.

In his free time, Guy enjoys doing scriptwriting and storytelling for comic strips, watching movies, and listening to music (particularly film scores).
Wish Sutthatothon