Southeast Asia’s six-nation visa to lure more tourists to Vietnam: insiders

A Thailand-initiated single visa program of six ASEAN countries is expected to help Vietnam attract more long-haul and high-spending travelers, according to insiders.

A Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has discussed the Schengen-type visa program with his counterparts in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Vietnam in recent months, aiming at ensuring seamless mobility for travelers in the countries.

Southeast Asia’s six-nation visa to lure more tourists to Vietnam: insiders
The single-visa scheme is expected to lure more foreign visitors to Vietnam. (Source: VNA)

Hailing Thailand’s initiative, Chairman of the UNESCO Hanoi Travel Club Truong Quoc Hung held that the single visa will facilitate rich tourists’ travel, thus increasing tourism revenue, while creating favorable conditions for travel firms to form inter-regional road trips.

Meanwhile, VietSense Travel CEO Nguyen Van Tai highlighted the success story of the Schengen Area, where the application of a single visa has been benefiting its member states.

“A single visa policy will help Vietnam promote tourism linkages with its neighbors and particularly address the issue of losing out international visitors on current visa barrier”. Therefore, travel firms have high expectations for the establishment of a joint-visa region”.

In the same vein, AZA Travel CEO Nguyen Tien Dat believed that with the single visa policy, the six countries will be able to improve their competitive edge over other ASEAN destinations and tourism powers in Asia like the Republic of Korea, Japan, and China.

Vietnam has extended visa exemption for tourists from some 30 countries and territories as compared to over 80 of Thailand, he said, adding joining the initiative will be a quantum leap for Vietnam’s tourism visa policy.

If Vietnam does not jump on the bandwagon, it will lose tourism opportunities and advantages over the five countries, Dat stressed.

From an expert perspective, Dr. Nuno F.Riberiro from RMIT University described this visa arrangement as a great opportunity for Vietnam to attract international visitors who may otherwise visit only Thailand and Malaysia.

Seeing Vietnam’s new visa policy as a motive for the growth of foreign tourists, he suggested the country continue to extend its visa exemption to attract more visitors, especially considering visa exemption for those from developed countries like Australia, Canada, the US, and the remaining members of the European Union with long stay and high spending.

Deputy Director General of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu said that the political stability, defense-security, and foreign affairs of the six countries should be looked at carefully before the single-visa program is rolled out.

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(Source: VNA)