The Thai government uses visa privileges
Minister of Tourism
and Sports of Thailand Kobkarn Vattanavrankul received a particularly important task - to make sure that wealthy foreigners came to the Kingdom not only for rest, but also for living, investing and pensions, writes South China Morning Post.
"Many foreigners have already bought an apartment in Thailand. Bangkok enjoys the greatest popularity among them, but I was told that non-residents expand the geography of purchases to other regions, such as Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya, "the minister said.
According to Ms. Vattanavrankul, visa privileges were extended to attract wealthy investors: now a long-term visa allows you to stay in the country for up to 20 years.
Since 2003, under the Thailand Elite program, 4800 visas have been granted, allowing non-residents to live in Thailand from 5 to 20 years, paying $ 15,000. 1200 of these permits were issued in 2017.
The growing popularity of elite visas coincided with an increase in tourist flow and foreign investment. "In 2017, we hope to attract 34 million tourists to the country," says Cobkarn Vattanavrankul. For comparison, in 2016, Thailand was visited by 32.5 million travelers, 27% of whom were Chinese.
The minister believes that it is time to expand the presence of foreign investors in the Kingdom. "We are focused on attracting capital to high-tech industries," she said.
According to managing partner of Henley & Partners, Dominic Voleka, 20-30% of successful applicants for a long-term visa of Thailand are inclined to purchase real estate, and the rest prefer to rent it.