top of page

Thailand proposes single visa for Southeast Asia

Thailand proposes single visa for Southeast Asia

Sunbeds lined up in Phuket; Thailand hopes to boost annual arrivals to 80 million

In a bid to boost tourism, Thailand has announced plans for a single visa programme that would include six Southeast Asian countries.

In essence, the proposal would imitate the Shenghen visa arrangement currently in place in Europe, with tourist entry streamlined by introducing a single visa for multiple countries.

The proposal would include Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar.

Collectively, the six ASEAN countries hosted around 70 million visitors last year, with Thailand and Malaysia accounting for around half that number. 

Thai prime minister Srettha Thavisin is looking to boost his tourism-reliant nation’s status as an aviation hub as well as a holiday hotspot and, according to local media, has already discussed the proposal with counterparts in Cambodia, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. 

Tourism accounts for about 20% of employment in Thailand and accounts for around 12% of the nation's US$500 billion economy. Thavisin hopes to attract 80 million visitors to Thailand by 2027.

Thai hoteliers have suggested the visa’s validity should be extended to 90 days to make it attractive to holidaymakers. If the single visa becomes a reality, tourists would be able to travel seamlessly around the six participating countries. Currently, each nation has differing visa requirements for arrivals.

Read more stories like this by signing up for our FREE weekly newsletter, straight to your inbox and packed with Hong Kong and Asia news, holiday inspiration, resort reviews and giveaways.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page