The Strategist

Bloomberg: Thailand proposes to introduce a single visa for six Southeast Asian countries

04/08/2024 - 03:22

Srettha Thavisin, the prime minister of Thailand, proposes that five other Southeast Asian nations create a unified tourist visa that is akin to the Schengen visa, reports Bloomberg.

Dennis Wong
Dennis Wong
Thavisin suggests that Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar accept the same visa. Bloomberg claims that in recent months, the prime minister has been discussing the proposal with his counterparts from the five nations.

It is anticipated that the introduction of such a visa will boost both the number of visitors and per-visit income to these nations. Over half of the 70 million visitors who came to these six nations last year were from Malaysia and Thailand. In 2023, tourism in these two nations alone brought in $48 billion.

In the last year, Thailand has eliminated its visa requirements for China and instituted temporary visa waivers for several additional nations, including as Kazakhstan and India. Malaysia sent 4.6 million tourists to Thailand in 2023, followed by China with 3.5 billion.

However, considering the history of this kind of contact between these nations, many experts believe that the move to impose a single visa is likely to fail. A more practical solution, in the opinion of managing director of the consulting firm C9 Hotelworks Bill Barnett, may be the signing of bilateral agreements between the two nations.