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Thailand might be left out in single-visa program.
Saturday, 26th October 2013
Source : External Source
Thailand has to revise its strategy concerning a regional single visa scheme, or it could lose millions of tourists to neighbouring countries, which are kicking off the 'CLMV Single Visa' next year without the Kingdom's participation.

Five countries - Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar - agreed in 2005 to relax immigration procedures to attract more non-Asean visitors to the region under the framework of Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation. They created the "Five Countries One Destination" campaign and ACMEC Single Visa to attract tourists from outside the region, especially from Europe, North America and Australia.

Tourists applying for a visa at any of the countries would automatically be allowed entry to the other four countries under the scheme, which is similar to Europe's Schengen system.

In July, the CLMV Single Visa was launched by Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

These four nations plan to promote the new visa scheme to targeted markets at the World Travel Mart in London from November 5-8 and to alliances at the world's largest tourism trade fair in Germany early next year.

Thanate Vorasaran, vice president of the Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT), said yesterday that Thailand was left out because of its stance on issuing visas.

The government, after years of negotiation, refused to join the agreement, saying it already permitted visitors from up to 45 nations to enter without a visa.

Full story at The Nation

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