Thailand has planned to relax immigration rules and simplify the rules for buying real estate for foreign citizens in order to start attracting wealthy tourists.
The Thai government has now developed a “proactive economic plan” that is aimed at attracting at least 1 million high-income tourists in a bid to free the country from the middle-income trap.
The Economic Situation management Center meeting chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ochi last Friday has approved plans to promote investment and tourism in order to start rebuilding the economy after the pandemic the Bangkok Post reported.
“Interested agencies have been given a month to submit details of the plan before the next meeting,” Deputy Prime Minister Supatanapong Punmeechau said, adding that the government has set a target of 4 percent economic growth this year and next.
There will be changes made to the rules that govern the ownership of real estate by foreign citizens. The initiative aims to simplify the acquisition and ownership of houses in Thailand for wealthy foreigners and rich retirees from Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, and South Korea, said Chayotid Kridakon, an advisor to Suattanapong.
As part of the short-term plan, the government will attract rich tourists from around the world. First of all, retiree to visit Thailand and move to the Kingdom for permanent stay.
“There are about 200 million of them worldwide and we have set the gaol of attracting one million to Thailand every year,” said Chayotide.
“These people earn around 300-400 thousand baht per month. If one million of them are here in Thailand and spend about 100 thousand every month, Thailand will receive about 1.2 trillion baht a year from them.”
Suattanapong had explained that the plan is aimed at achieving continuous economic growth of 4-5% every year. A bank of Thailand study had shown that if this growth continued for the next six to seven years then Thailand would break out of the middle-income trap.
It is planned that the immigration rules would be made more simple and also the process of applying for visas and work permits for foreign professionals in Thailand, he said. For example, remove the requirement for foreign ex-pats to report their address to the authorities every 90 days