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TRAVELTOURS

Lawmaker proposes Vietnamese citizens pay "farewell fee" upon exit

Updated at Thursday, 13 Jun 2019, 14:11
The Hanoitimes - Several countries have adopted a “farewell fee” and similar fees to control travel to overseas destinations by their citizens.
Former Deputy Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Quoc Hung on June 12 proposed collecting a “farewell fee” or a departure tax of US$3 - 5 from Vietnamese citizens who leave the country, local media reported.
 
former Deputy Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Quoc Hung.
Former Deputy Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Quoc Hung.
Speaking at a National Assembly (NA) session, which featured discussions on the draft law on emigration, Hung argued that several countries have adopted a “farewell fee” and similar fees to control travel to overseas destinations by their citizens. For example, the Japanese parliament in 2018 issued a law stipulating that Japanese citizens must pay a “farewell fee” of US$9.3 when leaving the country.
Hung said that the Japanese government expects to gain some US$400 million annually from a “farewell fee” to fund the construction of tourism and traffic infrastructure projects in underprivileged areas as well as other activities.
He, therefore, propose Vietnamese citizens pay a departure tax of US$3 - 5. The proceeds will be partially used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support Vietnamese citizens abroad who find themselves in trouble. In addition, the country could tap the fund to upgrade equipment and infrastructure facilities serving the departure of local citizens as well as encourage immigration officers to offer more passenger-friendly services. Besides this, the fund could be used to fund tourism campaign abroad.
Nearly 10 million Vietnamese people went abroad in 2018 and the number of tourists continued to grow 20% a year on average over the last 5 years, according to statistics of the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents (VISTA).
The statistics were compiled from tourism reports of international travel agencies. Earlier, Vietnamese people often chose destinations in China and ASEAN, but their selection gradually changed and moved to other destinations such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (China).
Mai Nguyen
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