Tourists from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy will continue to be exempted from visa until June 2021, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at a Government meeting on May 3.
Visa will be waived for tourists coming to Vietnam from these five countries for another three years after the visa waiver program expires at the end of June this year.
When the extension expires, Vietnam will review its unilateral visa exemption policy and re-evaluate its electronic visa pilot, the Prime Minister said. He was addressing a proposal from the HCM City Tourism Association to expand the visa exemption policy to more countries and to increase the maximum stay of foreign tourists to 30 days, instead of 15 as of current.
“Extending the visa exemption is definitely something we should opt for, since at the moment, Vietnam waives visa one-sidedly for only 24 countries - including nine ASEAN countries - while our neighbors are doing more than that,” he said.
The Government leader also assigned the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to review and report on the challenges facing electronic visa issuance and on making amendments to the Immigration Law.
According to the Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board, visa exemption for tourists from the five Western European countries has helped increase the number of tourists from these markets by 10.1 percent since it was introduced in mid-2015.- (VNS/VLLF)