Vietnam indecisive about visa waiver extension program
VietNamNet Bridge - The one-time valid visa fee for foreigners is $25. If Vietnam exempts Visa’s for travelers from more than 100 countries, it will lose hundreds of millions of dollars each year. However, if it can attract visitors from these countries, it could earn big money from tourists who spend $100 a day at minimum.


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Vietnam is applying a visa waiver policy to travelers from 22 countries


More than 1 million foreign travelers came to Vietnam in January 2018, an increase of 42 percent over the same period last year. The number of travelers from all key markets increased sharply, including China (69 percent), South Korea (84 percent), Taiwan (22.9 percent), Malaysia (35.5 percent) and Cambodia (36.6 percent). 

Vietnam is applying a visa waiver policy to travelers from 22 countries. However, many of the 10 countries with the highest number of travelers to Vietnam are not on the list of countries enjoying the policy.

At present, foreign travelers with ASEAN passports and stay for no more than 30 days, and travelers with Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Japanese, South Korean and Russian passports, who can enter Vietnam for no more than 15 days, do not need a visa.

At present, foreign travelers with ASEAN passports and stay for no more than 30 days, and travelers with Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Japanese, South Korean and Russian passports, who can enter Vietnam for no more than 15 days, do not need a visa.

Analysts said that Vietnam’s visa policy is less open than other regional countries and it needs to apply a unilateral visa waiver policy to important markets as Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines have done.

EuroCham has once again asked the government to loosen entry procedures for foreign visitors. It believes that Vietnam should extend the list of the countries enjoying the visa waiver policy. These include all countries with which Vietnam has FTAs and has considerable trade activities, investment partners and targeted tourism markets.

In the latest news, nhadautu.vn reported that the the government has agreed to continue applying the entry visa waiver policy to travelers from five European countries, namely the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

EuroCham thinks that the policy should be valid for five years and the visa waiver should be extended from 15 days to 30 days. The government should grant visas at the border gates, valid for 72 days, to fly-through travelers, and better implement the e-visa granting.

Some economists warn that if more tourism markets enjoy the visa waiver, Vietnam would lose revenue from the visa fee, $25 per traveler. The total revenue from this source could be up to $162.5 million in 2017.

However, other economists argue that the loss of $25 in visa fees could be offset by travelers’ spending in Vietnam, estimated at $100 per day.


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TBKTSG


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