Travelers who love areas like the Schengen zone in Europe, where they can visit multiple countries without having to "cross" borders, will love what's in the works for Southeast Asia. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a ten member alliance that represents Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, hopes to enforce a single-visa policy for all countries in the zone in a bid to boost tourism.
Effectively, if the single-visa policy is realized, travelers will be able to cross borders without having to go through the trouble of applying for new visas, which are often not cheap to begin with. If it comes to fruition, the single-visa policy might be in place late this year or early next year, and it would start with Cambodia and Thailand.
The Southeast Asia region is growing in popularity. In 2015, 104 million foreign visitors came to the region. This is great news for anyone wanting to visit Southeast Asia as low-cost airlines aren't pretty abundant in the region. Though, bus travel within this part of the world can be tedious and long. But, if Southeast Asia has Europe-style Open Skies agreements on the horizon, traveling between the ASEAN countries would be even easier, and possibly cheaper.
Although the single-visa policy is still in the works, this is certainly exciting news for anyone who wants to take a Southeast Asia trip soon. With a single visa, travelers can visit the region without having to deal with hassles when crossing borders, not to mention that a single visa will make things cheaper.