BANGKOK - A European Union-style single visa for Southeast Asia is expected to spur tourism in one of the world's emerging economic growth centers, officials said Thursday.
The single visa for Association of Southeast Asian Nations member-states will be implemented as early as this year, officials said.
"We would like to have one visa for ASEAN countries. This is for foreign tourists from all over the world to travel to ASEAN countries. They can stay longer in ASEAN countries," Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said on the sidelines of a stakeholders' summit here.
ASEAN would work on a single visa despite some policy differences, Thailand's Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said.
"It's not easy, but we are not stopping. We have single visa committee working together," Kobkarn said.
Indonesia's Tourism Minister, Arief Yahya, said a single visa would help fast-track ASEAN integration.
Indonesia can promote Singapore as the aviation hub. But Singapore will need to promote Indonesian tourist spots as well, he said
"That's how tourism integration can work," he said.
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