HANOI, Vietnam (May 09, 2018) – In a move that was welcomed by the local travel industry, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last week announced Vietnam’s visa exemptions for citizens of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain would remain in effect for another three years.
Speaking at a press conference on May 4, Minister Mai Tien Dung, Chairman of the Office of the Government of Vietnam, said the country was extending the 15-day visa free policy for the five European Union nations until June 2021.
The decision was applauded by the tourism sector, including leader of Vietnam’s Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), a private consortium of industry stakeholders. TAB submitted a proposal to the Prime Minister earlier in March requesting that the government expand the length of exempted stays from 15 to 30 days, and remove the 30-day barrier to consecutive visa-exempt stays.
While the government has so far not acted on the other proposals submitted by TAB, the board welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to extend the visa policy for three years, calling it a small but necessary step forward.
Since visa exemptions were granted to the five European countries in 2015, average arrivals from these countries have increased more than 20% year-on-year, and contributed some USD 101 million to Vietnam’s economy.
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HOÀNG NHÂN CHÍNH
Secretariat Director - Trưởng Ban thư ký