FATA meet calls ASEAN governments to waive visas

Published on : Monday, June 22, 2015

downloadThe Federation of ASEAN Travel Associations (FATA) held a meeting on 13 June 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.The combined total membership in FATA is about 7,700 travel agents through its members associations.



Among the various issues discussed by the delegates at the meeting were the slowdown of tourists’ from western markets and the importance of growth in the regional travel especially from China, Japan and South Korea.The President of FATA, Dr Aung Myat Khaw, also the President of the Union Myanmar Travel Association (UMTA), said “ASEAN governments that impose travel restrictions on their own citizens and that of other countries should immediately remove the barriers. At the very least, ASEAN nationals should be allowed to enter any member country without visas for a minimum stay of 14 days.”



“This is crucial in making the ASEAN Economic Community a reality towards the deadline on 31 December 2015. Also, the ASEAN Plus Three was initiated way back in 1997 to bring ASEAN closer to China, Japan and South Korea.”Dr Aung further said “It is imperative that all ASEAN countries drop visa requirements for visitors from these three East Asian countries before more of their nationals travel to other parts of the world and bypass ASEAN destinations altogether. At the said meeting, special mention was made for the need to remove the visa requirements for tourists from China to ASEAN countries. ”



“Governments of all ASEAN countries should realise that tourist arrivals are not a given growth but requires continuous promotion. However, such efforts would be ineffective if little effort was made to facilitate entry of visitors, especially in removing visa requirements.”“It is a bother to spend time and money applying for a visa and many high-spending tourists often travel at short notice, and would rather visit countries that do not require visas.”




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