Thailand suggests Southeast Asian countries to create analogue of Schengen visa

As part of a program to attract more tourists, the Prime Minister of Thailand proposed that six neighboring countries introduce an analogue of the Schengen visa for tourists.

Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has launched an initiative to create a joint visa program with Southeast Asian countries, which received about 70 million tourists last year alone.

In recent months, Srettha Thavisin has discussed the idea with his colleagues in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam. The development of an analogue of the European Schengen visa will allow tourists from all over the world to travel freely between six neighboring countries.

Although the “South Asian Schengen” initiative has been discussed since the early 2000s, leaders now have a chance to reach an agreement as they seek to protect their economies from “sluggish exports and weak global demand.”

Southeast Asian countries received about 70 million foreign tourists last year. Thailand and Malaysia accounted for more than half of the total, generating about $48 billion in tourism revenue.


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