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New Thai-Cambodia visa

posted Jan 16, 2012, 7:17 PM by Dong Travel   [ updated Jan 16, 2012, 7:18 PM by Mickey Dong Hoang Thinh ]
In a significant first, Thailand and Cambodia have announced they will issue a single 30-day tourist visa to non-ASEAN visitors from February 1, with Vietnam and Laos to be brought into the ambit by end-2012.
Aynur San, general manager, Turkey-based Oniva Tours, said: “It will benefit us as we will now pick destinations and products from two or more countries and not worry about itinerary changes due to unforeseen events, say the Bangkok flood.”
Frauke Melchert, Germany-based Meeting Consult International, added: “This is best for bringing more MICE events to ASEAN. Now I can plan multi-country incentives and many combinations of events. I hope more countries will be added.”
Michael Lim, managing director of Cambodia-based Dara Hotels and Resorts, was similarly optimistic about the prospects for MICE, giving an example of how a convention in Thailand could be combined with incentives or post-tours in Cambodia.
He said: “Tourists can now come with different objectives, for instance, wellness tourism for Cambodia and beach tourism for Thailand.”
Jose Henrique Goncalves, managing director, France-based Abako said: “Business travel will also benefit hugely because of the flexibility a multi-country visa offers”.
Echoing their views, Virat Chatturaputpitak, vice president of the Association of Thai Travel Agents and managing director Marwin Tours (Thailand) said immediate benefits could be expected from “cross-border travel with itineraries involving destinations of both countries”.
Cambodia’s minister of tourism, Thong Khon, revealed that the next step would be  “to include Laos and Vietnam, develop the road network well and offer our four countries as a package to foreign visitors, a unique concept offering in Asia”.
The vision of a single visa enabling seamless travel across 10 ASEAN countries was one of the recurring topics discussed at ATF this year, with countries pledging to take serious steps in working towards its implementation.

Source: TTGA