One year ago, the government issued a decree allowing visitors from the five countries to stay in Vietnam for no longer than 15 days without a visa, but it expired on June 30 this year.
The Vietnamese government has decided to extend it until June 30, 2017. The exemption duration remains unchanged at 15 days.
Data from the General Statistics Office show that since Vietnam applied the decree, the number of visitors from Western Europe has shown signs of growth. As of May, Vietnam had welcomed 697,200 visitors from those countries, up 13.9 percent on-year, with Italian tourists rising by 30.1 percent, followed by the U.K. at 23.3 percent and Spain at 22.4 percent.
Vietnam received about 4.7 million foreign visitors in the first six months of this year, up 21.3 percent from the same period last year, according to data from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.