Chinese travelers will be the first to enjoy an e-visa service rolled out by Thai authorities as of next February, followed by the United Kingdom in March and France a month later, Bangkok Post has reported citing the Thai Consular Affairs Department.
Starting February 15, 2019, applicants in Beijing can process their visa online instead of physically going to the embassy. The service will be available in other Chinese cities later.
Applicants in China would be able to pay for the visa through mobile payment apps WeChat Pay and AliPay or using Union Pay cards.
China was chosen as the launch pad because Chinese travelers made up the largest group of foreign nationals seeking visas to enter the country, said the department's director-general Chatri Archjananun.
Chinese holidaymakers still top the list of foreign arrivals, even though the number has dropped since the tour boat tragedy off Phuket Island this summer, according to Thailand's Tourism and Sports Ministry.
This is another attempt by Thai authorities to attract Chinese travelers following the two-month free visa-on-arrival policy for 21 countries, including China.