Visa exemptions for tourists from 21 countries helped boost tourism income by Bt47.553 billion duringa six-month period last year, a spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said.

Nattaporn Jatusripitak, spokesman attached to the deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs, said the visa exemption for 21 nations from March 1 to August 31 2017 caused the government lo lose income from visa issuance by Bt7.19 billion, but tourism income during the period increased by Bt47.553 billion.

The figures came from the Tourism and Sports Ministry’s report to the Cabinet on Tuesday.

The ministry told the Cabinet that the visa exemption measure for the 21 nations did not have to be extended as tourism income had improved, Nattaporn said.

During the period, 6.06 million tourists from the 21 countries were granted visa exemption and their number increased by 4.46 per cent compared to the same period of the previous year.

The number of tourists from the 21 countries constituted 34.97 per cent of all 17.35 million tourists from all countries, who boosted the country’s coffers by Bt303.143 billion during the period. Tourism income during the period increased by 6.64 per cent, the spokesman added.