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Mon, 27 February 2023

VFS Global Reports 576% Increase in Visa Applications in Thailand

(27/02/23)  VFS Global has reported that Thailand recorded a five-fold surge in visa applications in 2022, highlighting an accelerated rebound in travel sentiments.

Applications across all visa categories, from 1 January 1 to 31 December 2022, grew by 576% when compared to the whole of 2021 owing to unexpected surge in demand with the opening of international borders and resumption of regular international flights across many markets. Applications were however, still below the pre-pandemic levels.

The significant surge in visa applications from Thailand indicates that travellers' confidence has rebounded faster than expected. With the peak outbound travel season expected to start in March, we expect this momentum to grow further and therefore those planning foreign travel outside of Thailand must apply for visas well in advance to avoid the last-minute rush, said Kaushik Ghosh, Head Australasia, VFS Global.

Aircraft at Suvarnbhumi Airport (BKK) near Bangkok, Thailand. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.
Aircraft at Suvarnbhumi Airport (BKK) near Bangkok, Thailand. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com

Strong demand for personalised services was a defining trend noticed in the 2022 visa application patterns.

VFS Global recorded a strong uptick in customised services such as the Visa At Your Doorstep (VAYD) service that empowers applicants to complete their entire visa application submission process from the comfort of their homes, or any other location of their choice.

Through this premium service, customers can submit their applications, enroll for biometrics and get their passport couriered back to their location of choice.

VAYD bookings in 2022 more than doubled on 2019's figures, growing by 27% on 2021.

VAYD services are available in Thailand for travel to Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the UK.

An increasing number of discerning travellers are opting for contactless and personalised services post the pandemic, added Ghosh. With health considerations becoming a key determining factor in foreign travel, many applicants prefer services such as VAYD or the Premium Lounge that enable a seamless visa application experience without having to stand in a queue. Going forward with the digital consumer experience evolving rapidly, we foresee higher demand for such premium services that enable customers to prioritise safe travel.

VFS Global caters to 23 sovereign governments from Thailand comprising Australia, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, India, Italy, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.

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