The Philippines and Thailand will strongly push for the adoption of a common visa that would make all 10 countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) become a single tourism destination.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bared this in her toast during the official dinner Thursday night in Malacanang in honor of the visiting Thai Prime Mister who is on a two-day official visit to the Philippines.
The President said the promotion of tourism in the ASEAN region was discussed during her bilateral meeting with the Thai Prime Minister Thursday afternoon in Malacanang.
“Thailand is the acknowledged leader in tourism in our region. And I am glad that His Excellency, the Prime Minister, thinks it is a wise idea to share Thailand’s market with the rest of ASEAN,” the President said.
The President said the Philippines and Thailand would jointly push for the adoption of a common visa for member countries when the kingdom assumes the ASEAN chairmanship in July.
“So I hope that we will be having more package tours that include each other, and also work during the leadership of Thailand of the ASEAN. Work to have a common visa for all the ten countries so that countries who visit Thailand can also visit one or the other of these countries in ASEAN,” the President said.
The initiative is expected to allow foreign tourists to enter and visit all countries in the ASEAN on a single visa that would streamline tourism to the region.
Turning ASEAN into a single tourism destination is in keeping with the full integration of ASEAN into a “One Caring and Sharing Community” by 2015, which the Philippines strongly pushed during its chairmanship in the Cebu Summit. (PNA)