Foreign tourists happy with Vietnam’s visa exemption policy

June 28, 2018 0 COMMENT
From the beginning of July, citizens from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy will enjoy visa exemptions for the next three years, until June 30, 2021, as approved by the Prime Minister.

“Visa exemption is good for the country to open to tourism,” said Anthony Dme, a visitor from France.

Vietnam first offered visa waivers for citizens from the five European countries in July, 2015. The policy has been updated annually and would have expired at the end of June.

French guest Anastasia Belkacemi said the policy made people want to go because they did not have to pay.

“We feel like part of Asia that we can come in easily like Indonesia, no need visa,” Matteo Lelli, an Italian, said.

Vietnam is among countries with the strictest visa policy in Asia. The country currently offers visa waivers to visitors from 24 countries and territories, including the ASEAN member countries.

The country has tried to improve the situation with an e-visa policy which is now available to people from 46 countries.

Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung has said the government would consider proposals from the Vietnam Tourism Association on the extension of the period of stay from 15 to 30 days and expansion of visa exemptions for more countries.

Some visitors felt pleased with the valid time of visa exemption while others wished they could have a longer stay.

“15 days may be too short,” Matteo Lelli said.

“When you want to go to a country you want to stay long and see everything. So the visa exemption is longer, it’s better,” Anastasia Belkacemi from France said.

Anthony Dme, a French tourist, said “I would say of course free visa for every time and everywhere is good, but we’re still glad for 15 days.”

Michelle Armstrong from the US said it took her three days to get e-visa to Vietnam and it was very easy.

Western arrivals to Vietnam soared in recent years, with 720,000 in 2015, 855,000 in 2016, and 1,500,000 in 2017.

In the first five months of this year, foreign arrivals to Vietnam surpassed 6.7 million, up 27.6 percent annually, according to the General Statistics Office.

The number of European visitors rose by 11.8% year-on-year, including those from France (13.1%), the UK (9.6%), Germany (8.5%), and Italy (18.3%).

According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 compiled by the World Economic Forum, Vietnam rose eight places in just one year to rank 67th in the world.

“The main drivers of the country’s T&T competitiveness are its natural resources (34th), cultural resources (30th) and price competitiveness (35th). Vietnam has made significant progress on its human resources and labour market pillar (37th, up 18 places) scores, thanks to a better-qualified labour force (53rd) and partially simplified regulations on hiring foreign labour (75th)”, the report says.

Easier visa application procedures for foreign tourists, as well as visa exemptions for visitors from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain have helped attract more tourists from these markets, experts said.

VNA

RELATED POSTS

Jun 12, 2018

Passengers warned to get to Tan Son Nhat Airport early

National carrier Vietnam Airlines has recommended passengers be present at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in HCM City as early as possible to avoid traffic jams. Passengers have been warned...

Read More ›
May 07, 2018

Late visa policy announcement challenges tourism

The visa exemption policy for citizens of five European countries will expire in the next three months. Whether and when it might be renewed are still open questions, creating a...

Read More ›
Mar 30, 2018

Ha Noi-Vietnam among world’s top destinations for 2018

Ha Noi has been ranked 12th among the 25 best destinations for 2018 globally, according to TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice awards. “The charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, preserving the Old...

Read More ›
Dec 04, 2017

Vietnam to grant e-visas to citizens of six more nations

Under the Government’s newly-issued Decree 124/NQ-CP, the six nations added to the list are Australia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Canada, India, the Netherlands and New Zealand. Previously, under Decree 07/2017/ND-CP...

Read More ›