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Thailand proposes Schengen-style visa to Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos – Alwast News

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Thailand is taking the lead in discussions with other Southeast Asian countries to establish a “Schengen-style” unified visa system aimed at simplifying travel in the region.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin recognized Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar as potential partners in this effort, recognizing the collective tourism appeal of these countries. Together, these countries attracted some 70 million tourists last year, demonstrating the huge potential of regional tourism.

The proposals put forward by Prime Minister Sretha are part of a wider strategy for Thailand, where tourism plays a vital role in the economy. Tourism is important to the country’s economy, accounting for approximately 20% of jobs and contributing approximately 12% to the $500 billion economy. By strengthening ties with neighboring countries through a unified visa system, Thailand aims to further capitalize on the growth potential of the tourism industry.

Reports in the Bangkok Post revealed Prime Minister Sretha’s moves, which included discussions on extending the validity of the proposed Schengen-style visas. Currently the visa period is 30 days, with consideration being given to extending it to 90 days, a move aimed at making the visa more attractive to tourists and visitors. Such an extension could encourage longer stays and more extensive exploration in the area, thereby increasing tourism revenue.

The envisaged Schengen-style visa for Southeast Asia is expected to facilitate movement between member states, thereby boosting regional tourism and attracting a wider range of tourists. Destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam are particularly attractive to visitors from the Middle East, often becoming holiday destinations of choice for events such as Eid al-Fitr and summer holidays.

It is worth noting that the countries that implement the unified visa system are all members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This regional cooperation framework, which includes Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, can play a key role in achieving the success of the proposed visa regime. By promoting closer cooperation and coordination among member countries, ASEAN can further promote tourism cooperation and economic growth across the region.

Also read: Bahrain announces date for first day of Eid al-Fitr 2024

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