Thailand Grants Visa-Free Travel to Estonians
Thailand's government announced over the weekend that it had decided to grant visa-free travel to Estonian citizens.
The development is the fruit of seven years of work and will allow Estonians to travel to Thailand for tourism purposes for a period of up to 30 days, reported ETV. Officials have not yet revealed when the policy will take effect but expressed hope it would come into force at the beginning of the new year at the latest.
"We have worked for years to attain visa-free travel from Thailand. Thailand is a popular tourism destination for Estonian people and visa-free travel helps develop contacts and tourism relations between people,“ said Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, adding that visa-free travel would also boost bilateral economic and cultural ties.
Thailand's foreign minister, Surapong Tovichakchaikul visited Estonia over the weekend. He said Thailand's government had adopted the resolution in August.
A senior official in the Thai foreign ministry, Vijavat Isarabhakdi, said: "Well there's no particular reason why it took so long but things in our part of the world sometimes have a habit of taking time because there are many steps to take [...] The important thing is that the Thai cabinet has already approved the decision to enable our good friends from Estonia to come without visa for 30 days. So the cabinet decision has been made. What remains is that some internal processes still have to be done. The regulations have to be amended. So that would take some months."
Thai nationals are still required to have a visa to enter Schengen zone countries.