Vietnam lets visa-free tourists stay longer, may add more countries to waiver list

Thanh Nien News

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Foreign tourists walk in Hanoi downtown. Photo credit: AFP Foreign tourists walk in Hanoi downtown. Photo credit: AFP

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Foreign tourists who are already exempt from visa requirements will be allowed to extend their stay in Vietnam to up to 30 days, instead of 15 days.
A new statement from the government office has instructed police and relevant agencies to cooperate with the tourism ministry to let tourists from visa-exempted countries stay longer, if they are "guaranteed" by a tourism agency and have a valid return ticket.
Tourists from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Japan, Russia and South Korea are eligible for Vietnam's visa waiver policy.
They are currently allowed to stay for only 15 days per visit and have to wait for at least 30 days before the next entry.
The government has ordered the tourism ministry to propose a list of more countries that Vietnam should waive tourist visa requirements, particularly countries with "high tourism potentials or having strategic partnership with Vietnam."
Tourism authorities earlier urged the government to waive tourist visa requirements for France, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, India and Canada.
A survey conducted by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) found that Western European visitors often spend a lot of money while those from Australia and New Zealand often visit during traditional low holiday seasons.
Vietnam’s tourism earnings hit $11.76 billion last year but there have been concerns over significant drops in the number of foreign arrivals this year.
Under a regional agreement, Vietnam also offers a 30-day visa waiver for tourists from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, except for those from Brunei who receive a 14-day waiver.

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