Extended visa waiver for European visitors expected
In near future, citizens of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy may have the visa requirement waived for five years instead of one year as currently.
This is among the proposals brought forward by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, with a view to making full use of the policy to attract tourists from the five Western European countries, said a ministry’s official in a recent meeting on visa exemption.
The Ministry also suggests visa exemptions for single-entry visits of up to 30 days for visitors of the five countries, instead of 15 days as at present.
It asks the Government to approve unilateral visa exemption for citizens from 13 countries using package tours provided by licensed international travel companies in Vietnam.
Besides, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will look to unilateral visa exemption for other countries among Vietnam’s key tourism markets and grant visas on arrival and e-visas to facilitate international visitors.
According to the Ministry, after nearly 10 months, the number of tourists from visa-free countries has increased continuously to 554,242, up nearly 14 percent over the same periods in 2014 and 2015.
The growth rates in the third and fourth quarters of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 were respectively around 4.3 percent, 16.5 percent and 20 percent, as compared with a 1 percent decrease in tourist arrivals from these five countries in the first half of 2015.