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Passport scanners to ease immigration for Singaporeans entering Thailand

Thailand is offering flyers from Hong Kong and Singapore a faster entry process via automated gates at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

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Good news for Singaporeans flying to Thailand: they can now use passport scanners to ease the immigration process when they enter the country.

According to Channel News Asia, Singaporean tourists can now access automated gates at the Suvarnabhumi Airport. In an announcement of this new development, the Royal Thai Embassy claims that Singapore will be the first country to be given permission to use the service.

The auto gates will record the passenger’s information and fingerprints for subsequent trips and will be connected to the check-in systems to verify identities of the persons involved. However, the auto gates are only for those visiting the country for tourism purposes. Those who are looking to find work must secure a visa and go through the standard immigration process.

Airport terminal.

The automated gates in Thailand are being used to give incentives to Singaporeans and Hong Kongers to visit the country more often. (Source)

Per the Straits Times, it will reduce the waiting time in the immigration queue at airports in Bangkok.  Singapore, in return, is also studying whether to give Thais the privilege of access to their automated gates.

Singaporeans favor going to Thailand to shop and to go on food trips. In addition to them, Hong Kong travelers will also be given access to automated gates because they frequent visiting Thailand.

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In a separate report by the Straits Times, the automated gates are currently available for use of Thai nationals but only 70 percent of them take advantage of the system. Chinese nationals also visit Thailand but they do not come back as frequently as the Singaporeans and Hong Kongers. The authorities are studying its options to extend the service to travelers from Australia and parts of Europe. On the other hand, tourists from parts of the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa will not be considered due to security concerns.

This move catering to Singaporeans and Hong Kong nationals is also part of Thailand’s effort to attract more tourists after a series of political problems besieged the country in the past years. With the added incentives, travelers must take advantage of this access which is only available to a select few.

Leah Marie Angelou is an LGBTI activist, equality advocate, and has been a writer for several feminism-focused groups since 21. She is of African and Taiwanese decent. She now teaches microfinancing to various low-income communities across the East Coast.

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