Vietnam plans to introduce e-visa next year as part of the government's effort to attract more tourists and boost the tourism industry.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Tuesday that the government will allocate up to VND200 billion (US$9 million) for developing the e-visa system.
He asked the public security ministry to make sure the system will start operating on Jan. 1, 2017.
The ministries of finance, public security and foreign affairs are assigned with working out the e-visa fees and ensure that foreign tourists are warmly welcomed in the country.
The prime minister approved the establishment of a tourism development fund to support promotion activities, develop products and human resources, and enhance the sector’s institutional capacity.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visits a souvenir shop in Hoi An. Photo: VNA
He also asked relevant ministries to reinforce the management of the tourism environment to "turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector."
The World Economic Forum ranked Vietnam 75th out of 141 countries in its 2015 report of Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index.
Currently, a Vietnamese tourist visa can be obtained upon arrival at the country's international airports, or through Vietnamese embassies or consulates.
Vietnam has waived visas for tourists from 22 countries and territories.
The industry served 5.5 million foreign visitors in the first half of this year, a rise of 24 percent year on year, together with 38.2 million domestic tourists.
Vietnam targets to attract 10 million to 10.5 million international visitors by 2020, with tourism revenue reaching $18 billion to $19 billion each year.