The number of Qataris and Qatar-based expatriates visiting Thailand has been increasing every year, particularly during the peak season, the Thailand embassy in Doha has said.
“The first half of 2016 saw 19,756 Qataris visiting Thailand, an increase of 2,176 from the 17,580 in the same period last year,” Said Thai ambassador Soonthorn Chaiyindeepum
With regard to Qatar-based expatriates, there was a 14.85% increase in the first half of this year with 5,962 visas issued, compared to the figures from the same period last year.
“Both Qataris and expatriates, visit Thailand for tourism and medical purposes,” the envoy explained, while recalling that in 2015 a total of 29,758 Qataris travelled to Thailand, a 22.54% increase compared to 2014.
For Qatar-based expatriates, the Thai embassy issued in 2015 visas to more than 10,907 applicants, an increase of 22.23% compared to 2014.
The peak season for tourists from Qatar is from Eid al-Fitr to Eid al-Adha and the most popular destinations are Bangkok and Phuket, according to the ambassador. Qatari citizens can enter Thailand without visa and stay up to 30 days.
About the increasing popularity of Thailand to both Qataris and expatriates, he said Thailand has a reasonable cost of living, a wide range of accommodation, halal food availability and convenient transportation.
Besides being well-known for hospitality and friendliness, he pointed added that Bangkok and Phuket, in particular, offer a variety of activities ranging from shopping, unique culinary scene, authentic spa experience, adventure sports, breathtaking beaches, untouched rain forests suitable for eco-tourism and top medical services.
“In a nutshell, Thailand has everything that people of all ages can enjoy, and that is why Thailand has remained attractive to new and returning tourists,” Chaiyindeepum stressed.
He said Thailand’s “unique culture and exquisite cuisine” have been attracting travellers from around the world.
The envoy cited that they received more than 30mn tourists last year, a proof that modern global trotters have confidence in public safety and security in Thailand.
“They do their research and are well-informed that despite internal political differences, law and order prevails in Thailand,” he observed while claiming that “foreign tourists are largely unaffected by these incidences.”
“Now that the situation in Thailand has returned to normalcy, our police and other authorities concerned continue to work hard to ensure that citizens and tourists alike can travel in Thailand with peace of mind,” Chaiyindeepum added.
Direct Qatar Airways flights from Doha to Bangkok and Phuket have also been enticing many Qataris and expatriates to travel to Thailand, it is learnt.
QA will soon fly four times a week to Krabi and three times a week to Chiang Mai, two of Thailand’s rapidly-growing destinations.