According to Hoang Thi Diep, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the Prime Minister has asked the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies to consider the plan enabling tourists to use only a single visa when visiting the three countries.
“We are happy with this since there will be more tourists if the visa policy is loosened,” she said.
The reason why Vietnam wants to cooperate with Thailand and Cambodia on this issue is to simplify procedures for international tourists as a similar visa is being offered by the neighboring countries. In addition, Thailand and Cambodia are near Vietnam and are popular locations for large numbers of tourists.
At the end of last year, Thailand and Cambodia signed an agreement known as ACMECS Single Visa, enabling tourists from 35 countries and territories to use a single visa when entering the two countries. Most of the countries and territories are also markets sending a large number of tourists to Vietnam such as Europe, Australia, the U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, China and South Korea.
According to Diep, the cooperation to use a joint visa with Thailand and Cambodia is the first step of a series of efforts of ASEAN countries to use a joint visa.
Regarding the issue of visas, HCMC earlier this year also proposed the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to work with the Laos government on establishing the Five Countries-One Destination program which will consist of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, stepping towards a joint visa or visa exemption to attract international tourists.