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Thailand To Waive Visa Requirements For Indians To Draw More Tourists

BANGKOK, Oct 31: Thailand will waive visa requirements for arrivals from India and Taiwan from next month to May 2024, a government official said on Tuesday, in a bid to draw in more tourists as the high season approaches.

Thailand in September scrapped visa requirements for Chinese tourists, the country's top pre-pandemic tourism market with 11 million of the record 39 million arrivals in 2019.

From January to October 29, there were 22 million visitors to Thailand, generating 927.5 billion baht ($25.67 billion), according to the latest government data.

"Arrivals from India and Taiwan can enter Thailand for 30 days," spokesperson Chai Wacharonke said.

India has been Thailand's fourth largest source market for tourism so far this year with about 1.2 million arrivals after Malaysia, China and South Korea.

Inbound tourism from India showed signs of growth as more airlines and hospitality chains targeted that market.

Thailand is targeting about 28 million arrivals this year, with the new government hoping the travel sector can offset continued weak exports that have constrained economic growth.

Major Changes In Visa, Consular Services To Counter Predatory Pricing

NEW DELHI, Sept 1: The Ministry of External Affairs, in a move to mitigate predatory pricing, has tightened the rules for the selection of partner visas and consular service to the Indian diaspora and foreign visitors.

The MEA is committed to serving Indians migrating and foreigners visiting India with an overarching vision to strengthen India's Image and reputation, to make the service more robust, seamless and reliable.

Notably, the Indian Missions of the MEA are the first touch points for any international traveller coming into India - the Indian Citizen or Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Foreigners (travelling to India) residing overseas.

Jyoti Mayal, President, of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) stated, "The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has embarked on a transformational program to reform and strengthen its tendering and evaluation process in a holistic manner to select the right outsourced service providers. While the focus lies on L1 pricing, there is a strong emphasis on the four pillars of Quality Services, Sustainable and Viable Price, Data Protection and Security, and Ethical Practices and Integrity."

She said that since the first impression of any individual travelling to India, the MEA must focus on offering superior, efficient, and cost-effective services.

Commenting on the endeavour she also added, "It is important that the first impression of any individual travelling to India or having to work with any Indian Mission anywhere in the world needs to be impeccable, as the government is determined to work towards delivering the promise of New India. Therefore, the MEA and its Missions as true representatives of the Indian government to the world must focus on offering superior, efficient, and cost-effective services as perhaps the first step in that direction."

The president concluded by stating that India is positioning itself as a global leader in several sectors such as trade, cross-border services, citizen services, etc.

"As India marches towards a high momentum growth period, it will be critical to plan for factors that can impede progress and mitigate reputational and image risks for the Indian Government. Hence it became imperative for the government to focus on the quality, reliability, and credibility of the service providers it engages with, to ensure services are delivered effectively, efficiently, and in line with established standards, else failure in service levels can erode confidence and trust in the government's capabilities, leading to public dissatisfaction. The focus on quality also indicates that public resources are utilised wisely and that citizens receive the best possible value for money," she added.

Charter Direct Flights To Boost Tourism From Delhi To Sabah: Malaysian Minister

By Deepak Arora

Malaysian Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture YB Khairul Firdaus Akbar KhanKOTA KINABALU: Malaysian Government is working towards direct charter flights from New Delhi and other cities to Sabah to reduce travel time and attract more Indian golfers and tourists to this amazing paradise. Sabah is a Malaysian state occupying the northern part of Borneo Island. Currently, there are no airlines that fly direct from New Delhi and other Indian cities to Kota Kinabalu, the Capital of Sabah....moreMore

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