The recent mutual visa exemption agreement signed between China and Thailand in Bangkok on January 28, 2024, has been hailed as a groundbreaking step in travel cooperation between the two nations. This agreement, which has already taken effect on March 1, 2024, allows Thai citizens and Chinese passport holders visa-free stays of up to 30 days, with a maximum cumulative stay of 90 days within a 180-day period, excluding certain specific purposes such as residence, employment, study, or media activities particularly, in popular destinations like Bangkok, Phuket, and Chang Mai.

The agreement has quickly generated enthusiasm and interest among travelers in both countries, leading to increased bookings for travel between China and Thailand. Thai visitors, in particular, have shown a growing curiosity in exploring the various destinations in China, as evidenced by the surge in bookings on platforms like This trend is expected to not only boost tourism but also enhance economic and personnel interactions between the two nations.

The visa exemption agreement is anticipated to strengthen the existing ties between China and Thailand, facilitating smoother business exchanges, investments, and people-to-people relations. It is likely to pave the way for increased tourism, educational collaborations, and talent development, as China continues to attract Thai students seeking academic opportunities abroad.

The thriving momentum in Sino-Thai travel relations is also mirrored in the increased interest from Chinese tourists in visiting Thailand. Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, round-trip flights between the two countries have already reached 64% of pre-pandemic levels, indicating a positive trajectory for tourism.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has expressed optimism about the agreement’s potential to enhance tourism and cultural exchanges between the two countries. This mutual dedication to fostering closer bonds and promoting cultural understanding is seen as crucial in the context of regional economic collaborations like the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which is expected to further drive growth across various sectors and reaffirm the enduring partnership between China and Thailand.


Extension of Thai Visa Exemption Welcomes More Kazakhstani Tourists

Photo: Worachat Sodsri via Unsplash

In relation to this development, Thailand has also extended the temporary visa exemption for Kazakhstani tourists due to a noticeable increase in their numbers visiting the country. Initially set to conclude on February 29, 2024, the visa waiver for visitors from Kazakhstan has now been extended until August 31, 2024. This extension allows Kazakhstani visitors to continue receiving a 30-day visa exemption for tourism purposes upon their arrival in Thailand.

Kazakhstan has emerged as one of Thailand’s top markets within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), with significant growth in tourist numbers visiting foremost destinations such as Phuket and Koh Samui. In 2023 alone, Thailand welcomed 172,489 Kazakhstani visitors, marking a 190% increase compared to the previous year. The positive trend has continued into 2024, with a notable 11% increase in the number of Kazakhstani arrivals during the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2023.

Overall, the visa exemption agreements between China and Thailand, as well as the extension for Kazakhstani visitors, are expected to further boost tourism, strengthen economic ties, and promote cultural exchanges between the respective countries, setting the stage for closer cooperation and mutual benefit in the years to come.


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