In a bid to enhance Thailand’s global standing in sports, the government is gearing up to unveil a specialized visa catering to foreign tourists seeking to immerse themselves in the world of Muay Thai. Pimol Srivikorn, an influential adviser to the prime minister and chairman of the government’s subcommittee dedicated to fostering sports-related activities, revealed that this decision emerged during a meeting held on Friday. The initiative aims to position Muay Thai as a pivotal component of Thailand’s soft power strategy.
Under the proposed special visa, foreign enthusiasts embarking on a Muay Thai journey would be granted an extended stay of up to 90 days to complete their training, a significant upgrade from the 60 days afforded by a regular tourist visa, as highlighted by Srivikorn. Notably, this move signifies a deliberate effort to attract and accommodate individuals eager to delve into the intricacies of this traditional martial art.
Srivikorn further emphasized that the government is committed to establishing standardized proficiency levels for Muay Thai classes. This initiative includes the certification of Muay Thai instructors, ensuring the authentic transmission of this national fighting art to a global audience. By setting these benchmarks, the government aims to maintain the integrity and quality of Muay Thai education, fostering a more widespread and accurate understanding of the sport worldwide.
In a parallel effort to bolster Muay Thai’s global reach, the government plans to leverage the Now Muay Thai website (www.nowmuaythai.com). This online platform is envisioned as a centralized hub for foreign enthusiasts interested in the sport, offering them the opportunity to explore and select courses available across various locations in Thailand. The website is poised to become a valuable resource for those seeking to engage with Muay Thai on an educational and experiential level.
While specific details about the visa rollout and certification standards are yet to be disclosed, these developments signify a strategic move by the Thai government to harness the cultural and athletic significance of Muay Thai, not only as a tourist attraction but also as a globally recognized martial art. Officials and stakeholders in attendance during the meeting underscored the potential of this initiative to further showcase Thailand’s rich heritage and promote the authentic practice of Muay Thai on an international stage.