The Hanoitimes - Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association has submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism on further extension of visa exemption for tourists coming from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
The association has recommended increasing the stay time in Vietnam for tourists from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy to 30 days from the current 15 days and extending the visa exemption for them until June 30, 2023.
Ho Chi Minh City proposes visa exemption extension for five Western European countries.
The number of visitors to Vietnam from the Western European countries covered by the exemption policy had increased considerably. However, the visa exemption for these nations was set to expire from June 30, 2018. The visa waiver for tourists which began in mid-2015 has helped increase the number of foreign visitor arrivals, according to the association.
In addition, Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association also suggested that Vietnam relax visa rules for more countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, Austria, the Netherlands and Belgium.
“Australia and Vietnam have become strategic partners, so it is more necessary to offer visa exemptions for tourists from there,” Nguyen Thi Khanh, vice chairman of Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association was quoted as saying.
In 2017, Vietnam welcomed nearly 13 million international tourists, up 29.1% against 2016. The number of European tourists reached 1.9 million, up 16.6%, visitors from five Western European markets exempted from visas for 15 days increased significantly: the UK by 11.3%, France 6%, Germany 13.6%, Spain 20%, and Italy 13.2%, according to the General Statistics Office.
In the first three months of the year, the number of foreign tourists visiting Vietnam surged by 30.9% compared to the same period last year to reach 4.2 million. Over the period, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed nearly 2 million foreign tourists.