The ASEAN will be implementing a single visa system for all of its member-nations The scheme will allow visitors to easily access any country within the region Regional officials say that the project’s aim is to boost tourism in ASEAN countries The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be implementing a single visa system that will enable tourists visiting any member-country to easily travel towards other destinations within the region. In an article written by Samuel Mendenilla for Manila Bulletin on January 23, it was disclosed that the regional organization of countries has recently launched the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) for 2016 to 2025 that aims to boost tourism in Southeast Asia by coming up with a unified visa system. “To implement the single visa, we have to share data [with other ASEAN countries and] we have to work [in integrating] our system. In other words, we [need to] match our data system with theirs,” Sec. Ramon Jimenez Jr. of the Department of Tourism (DOT) said during the ASEAN Tourism Forum at the SMX Convention Center in Manila. According to the ATSP, all ASEAN member-nations will be seen as a single destination, wherein foreign visitors will only need to undergo a single process that will be valid and honored in any of the countries within the region. “To work towards the vision for ASEAN tourism over the next decade, it will be necessary to complete and continue existing initiatives such as the marketing of ASEAN as a single destination,” the executive summary of the forum stated. The 10-year plan, which was broken down into two terms, lists strategic actions such as intensifying promotion and marketing, diversifying tourism products, attracting tourism investment, raising the capacity and capability of human capital, and implementing and expanding ASEAN standards for facilities, services, and destinations. Apart from these, plans in implementing and expanding connectivity and destination infrastructure, enhancing travel facilitation, upgrading local communities and public-private sector participation in the value chain, ensuring safety and security, prioritizing protection and management of heritage sites, and increasing responsiveness to environmental protection and climate change are also included.