Vietnam considers visa exemption for citizens of nine more countries

30-Aug-2014 Intellasia | VNN | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism proposed a lift on the visa restrictions for nine countries in order to boost Vietnam’s tourism.

Vietnam currently allows nationals of 16 countries to enter Vietnam without a visa for varying time periods. A recent global survey on the visa exemption policy of countries, conducted by the residence and citizenship planning advisers Henley & Partners, ranked Vietnam 81st out of the 219 countries surveyed.

Many visitors see visa fees as just another way to collect money. According to many in the industry, high fees may prompt potential visitors to choose other destinations. The head of International Air Transport Association, Tony Tyler, said that the visa restriction is costing Vietnam many potential visitors. Joe Mannix, general manager of United Airlines, complained that US citizens have to pay fees between USD40 and USD50, while citizens from other countries are exempt.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, director of Vietravel, recommended that Vietnam simplify the procedures and add new countries to the exemption list. He went on to say that the number of visitors from Japan increased significantly since Vietnam lifted the visa requirements for citizens of that country. He added that there are many ways to improve procedures, such exemptions for tourists who have visited Vietnam before or allowing travel agencies apply for visas on behalf of their clients.

The Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism are seeking permission to expand visa exemptions to nine more countries: France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, India and Canada. Representatives of the two ministries explained that visitors from these nine countries have considerable budgets and can stay for long periods of time.

According to statistics released by the Administration of Tourism, in the first eight months of the year, the number of international tourists increased by 12 percent compared to last year, and 42 percent of them were visa-exempt.

 


Category: Economy, Vietnam

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