Vietnam considers visa waiver for tourists on vacation packages

Thanh Nien News

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Vietnamese authorities will consider exempting visa requirments for certain foreign tourists who travel on package tours, an official has said.
Nguyen Van Tuan, director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), said in a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday that a plan is being drafted by relevant ministries and agencies, the Saigon Times Online reported.
The plan will be submitted to the government for approval soon, he said.
It was not revealed which passport holders and which travel companies will enjoy the visa waiver policy.
According to Saigon Times Online sources, the new rule could be applied to only big travel companies.
Nguyen Thi Khanh, deputy chair of the HCMC Tourism Association, said the new policy would be great news as it would attract more foreign tourists to Vietnam.
Last June, the government decided to scrap tourist visa for Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain.
The General Statistics Office said the number of tourists from these five countries to Vietnam had seen anl increase in October, allegedly thanks to the visa waiver.
Tuan also said overall foreign arrivals had increased slightly over the last few months.
“If the trend continues, foreign arrivals in 2015 may be equal or a bit higher than last year,” he told the meeting.
Last year Vietnam reported more than 7.87 million foreign arrivals.
Tourism contributes about 6 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product, according to the government, which is trying to spur economic growth to above 6 percent this year.

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