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Real estate news in Thailand

Thailand plans new Schengen-like visa to attract tourists and boost property markets

real estate agent in Thailand

Thailand has collaborated with five neighboring countries to introduce a Schengen-style visa system, which has the potential to reshape travel dynamics across Southeast Asia. This initiative could benefit real estate investors by making regional properties more accessible and profitable.

Easing travel across borders in Southeast Asia

Thailand, along with Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Laos, is advocating for a unified visa system similar to Europe’s Schengen visa. This initiative aims to simplify travel across these nations, making them more accessible to tourists. By standardizing visa terms to 90 days, the new system would allow tourists to spend extended periods in the region without the hassle of multiple visa applications. This means easier access not just for personal visits but also for potential renters seeking long-stay accommodations. For foreigners interested in investing in Thai property, this is great news as it will make the process of visiting and staying in these countries much simpler.

Boosting tourism and the property market in Thailand

Thailand is planning to introduce a new visa scheme aimed at attracting 80 million tourists by 2027. This move is essential for the country’s economy, as tourism contributes significantly to its GDP, accounting for about 12% of it. The new visa scheme aims to facilitate easier movement across borders, which is expected to result in a substantial increase in tourist numbers, leading to benefits for property owners. Investors in Thai real estate, especially in tourist hotspots, can expect to see an increase in demand for holiday homes and rental properties, providing them with a steady income stream from short-term and long-term leases.

Navigating new opportunities amid challenges

The implementation of a visa system in Southeast Asia could be a complex process, requiring extensive negotiations and overcoming regional political hurdles. However, the long-term benefits could be substantial. Real estate investors should take note of these developments, as enhanced accessibility could lead to an increase in property values, particularly in areas close to tourist attractions and major transport links. The move towards a more integrated Southeast Asia could make regional properties more attractive to international buyers who are looking for both vacation homes and investment opportunities.

In recent times, there have been some changes made to the international visa agreements, like the mutual visa-free entry system with China and similar arrangements with India. These changes have already shown their positive impact by increasing travel, and Thailand has observed a significant rise in tourist arrivals, especially from China and India. This upward trend highlights the potential for further growth of the tourism sector and, therefore, the real estate market.

Written by Matt Timmermans

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