Thailand urges streamlining passage for SE Asian visitors

Bangkok, Sep 29 (IANS) Thailand’s tourism industry has called on the authorities to provide conveniences for visitors from neighbouring states, millions of whom are expected to visit the country from early next year.

Tourism Council of Thailand chairman Itthirit Kinglek suggested on Tuesday that immigration and other authorities streamline passage and procedures and reduce restrictions for Southeast Asian travellers to Thailand, Xinhua news agency reported.

Some six million tourists from ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) states are estimated to visit Thailand, compared to some four million Thais expected to visit other Southeast Asian destinations throughout this year.

However, those numbers are largely expected to rise from early next year, according to the council chairman.

Thai and other Southeast Asian travel agents will launch joint marketing plans to promote mutual tourism throughout the region, Itthirit confirmed.

“We’ll launch promotional packages for tourists from AEC states to Thailand while Thai travellers to other AEC states will be provided similar tour promotions.”

“Those visitors from the AEC region should be given easy access to varied tourist spots so that many of them might come over and prolong their stays or even spend some more money while in Thailand,” he added.

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