Regional Visa - that's a NO from Thailand!
Replies: 12 - Last Post: Nov 18, 2012 6:38 PM Last Post By: udornla
Nov 17, 2012 4:52 PM
Regional Visa - that's a NO from Thailand!As predicted by some, Thailand will not participate in the common visa scheme about to be launched by 4 ASEAN countries. Short-sighted decision (and therefore typically Thai) for immediate financial gain, but long-term it will see more trippers visit the 4 countries in the scheme and miss Thailand.
Nov 17, 2012 6:34 PM
1any current news or confirmation they will NOT participate? sept/oct they were mulling it over, but agree, i don't think they will either.
not sure how it will effect thailand, as anyone come for less than 30 days, gets free entry anyway. but thailand can still keep the arrival/departure numbers high, even if just transiting thru..............TAT, pulling number out of somewhere.
can't blame them, as the backpacker won't be splashing that much baht around anyway, and they want the mid to upper end tourist, who probably gets a tourist visa or not. probably a mute subject. as the mid-upper end tourist will simply visit all anyway, if planned. more beneficial for the low end traveller, which thailand obviously doesn't care for, and who can blame them.
Edited by: udornla
Edited by: udornla
Nov 17, 2012 7:55 PM
2Uh, going into Thailand is like going into a Starbucks now. How would participating in a joint-visa scheme make it any easier for tourists.
And Thailand benefits from that policy: exactly because there's no paperwork, I, like tens of millions of other tourists every year, usually start any SEA visit in Bangkok, and spend a few hundred dollars there on hotels, food, transport, diving, and general screwing around.
It's the other countries that are unwise in not copying Thailand. How much does Cambodia, for example, lose because people don't feel like braving the rigamarole at Poipet? And what benefit does Cambodia get from it, beyond my $30?
Nov 17, 2012 11:22 PM
Nov 18, 2012 3:38 AM
5THailand has not grasped the basic conept of ASEAN.
Soon the borders will be loosening and tourist and drivers will be able to drive more freely about the community, but Thailand won't be there.
Nov 18, 2012 3:45 AM
6But, it's already so easy to get into Thailand for free.
Nov 18, 2012 8:34 AM
Nov 18, 2012 12:34 PM
Nov 18, 2012 4:35 PM
9Will be interesting to see how this pans out. It could work in Thailand's favour, in fact.
If I decide to arrange a SEA trip from back in Oz, 30 day stay visas for all 5 countries (those 4 above plus Thailand) cost me a total of $136. If I omit Thailand it's still $136.
For those 4 countries, visa fees are an important revenue source. A common visa will mean the revenue has to be shared out, so if all countries are not to cut down their visa income from 100% to only 25% we should wonder what the fee will be?
Obviously it's not going to be, say, $30 to visit all four. Suppose it ends up being $80. Cambo still gets its $20, Laos drops $10, Myanmar drops $16 and Vietnam drops $26 (based on current fees at consulates in Oz). Of course, it's probably simplistic to think the income will be shared equally, but who knows?
Even at that example rate of $80, what then happens if I only want to visit Cambodia? Will they have a version that's for single-country entry only? If it turns out that the ASEAN group visa fee will be a one-size-fits-all, and it will be $80 to sample a 2,000 riel beer in Siem Reap or nothing at all to guzzle a 30 baht Chang in Ratchaburi, it's not rocket science to see which way the average budget backpacker swings.
Still, we'll have to wait and see and it shouldn't be too much longer for Brits:
Nov 18, 2012 5:24 PM
10I think the countries are less concerned about the money they get from visas than the money tourists spend in their countries. Making it easier to visit tends to mean more people and more money. Many visitors will simply miss out Thailand on their Asian tours.
Nov 18, 2012 5:28 PM
11Get into Thailand for free - if you are one of the 43 signatories to that arrangement.
but many people want to tour the region.. they also only get 15 days if they re-enter by land.
I'm talking about Thailand's attitude in general to ASEAN - people will want to move freely about this union as they do in the EU under the Schengen Treaty. Driving could be a major bonus for ASAEAN - the beaches of Vietnam and Cambodia are no further from Bkk than the Southern Islands of Thailand.
Nov 18, 2012 6:38 PM
12it would be nice, but they are years, if not decades away from upgrading the infrastructure. thailand isn't too bad, inter-province driving anyway. but i hear, not been to, the others are quite a bit behind. main reason i haven't visited, ease of travel once there, as thailand is bad enough for public transportation. self drive, so not a problem here, but train / bus, schedule and safety not up to par for me. with a family and luggage, no thanks.
friends have been there, and knowing me, told me not to bother. maybe lite flash-packing solo, but that doesn't work for me. maybe if single.
example for me is, live in udon thani, been to vientiane, not much there, R&R, would like to go to LP, but dread the bus ride, even with a stop, and that's only how far......again, no thanks. so i'm not going to deal w/poipet scam, and even worst roads / beggars. would like to see ankgor wat though, and hear the beaches of nam are nice, though flying just for those are a bit much, and can stay a couple months here instead.
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