Europeans Can Travel More Easier to Vietnam, Thanks for the New Visa Requirements
Vietnam’s government has relaxed visa requirements in a bid to attract more European visitors.
Citizens of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Belarus and Spain no longer required a visa for Vietnam. They can stay for 15 days regardless of the purpose of visit.
Short-term tourists from 17 other nations were already allowed to enter without a visa.
However, for those taking a side trip to a neighboring country, it is important to note that there must be a gap of at least 30 days between two entries if the visitors wish to re-enter Vietnam under the visa waiver program.
Meanwhile, Vietnam's travel industry is breathing a sigh of relief, following a report from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) that for the first time in 13 months, the number of foreign visitors to the country have increased.
VNAT statistics show a 5.1 per cent year-on-year rise in visitors for July.
Passport holders from elsewhere still face a time-consuming process. Under Vietnam’s visa-on-arrival rules, tourists must first pay a fee online and obtain a letter authorizing their entry into the country. They then pay an additional fee when they arrive.
“The visa is quite difficult and complicated for tourists,” said Nguyen Thi Tra Mi, sales marketing executive at TNK Travel in Ho Chi Minh City. She believes this time-consuming procedure, along with higher visa fees compared to neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, discourages some tourists from visiting.
Nguyen added, however, that although she believes a simpler visa system for visitors from other countries would encourage tourism, the government faces a dilemma.
Many travelers who enter Vietnam on tourist visas are actually coming to work, she said. The government wants to attract legitimate tourists while stemming the tide of illegal workers.