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Major Visa Fee Hike!

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Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 2372
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:07 am    Post subject: Major Visa Fee Hike! Reply with quote

I know this applies for extensions of Thai tourist visas, but quite likely, the major hike now in effect goes across the board.

I just found out, by going to the immigration office today, that effective Aug. 26, the Thai authorities *quadrupled* the fees for visa extensions. It used to be 500 baht to extend a tourist visa, and I assume, to apply for one as well.

Get out your wallets, folks, that price now costs 1900 Baht, in other words, $47.50 US. If my calculator is working right, that's a 380% increase!!

I can understand the need to increase rates, as 500 Baht was a ridiculously good deal in the past. It probably stayed that way for years. Consider that most Asian countries charge between $30-50 US for tourist visas, and Thailand was looking like a pretty good bargain.

But not anymore. The timing of the hike is significant, as it comes just before the APEC conference. Maybe the Thai authorities are getting serious about cleaning up the image of the country as a backpacker hangout, and they are pricing visas accorindingly. It's hard to say how this will affect package tourism, it probably won't, but it will likely drive the backpackers elsewhere.

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