Vietnam to launch e-visas in tourism drive

By VnExpress   October 17, 2016 | 03:20 pm GMT+7
Vietnam to launch e-visas in tourism drive
Foreign tourists bargain with cyclo drivers in Hanoi downtown. Photo by AFP

Travelers from the country's top 10 tourism markets will be able to apply for visas online.

The government has approved the launch of online visas for short-term travelers to the country or for those on business visits, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

The new visa rule, which is expected to come into effect next year, will only apply for those from Vietnam’s top tourist sources.

Under the new program, visitors will apply for their visas online and collect them at airports.

The country received 7.94 million tourists last year, according to tourism authorities.

Vietnam’s top 10 tourist markets are China, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, the U.S., Russia, Singapore, Thailand and Australia.

The country already offers visa exemptions for tourists from South Korea, Japan and those from Southeast Asian countries, as well as travelers from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Vietnam will also allow Chinese tourists traveling in groups and by car to stay in a northern border city for up to three days without applying for a visa. The more relaxed visa rule is scheduled to take effect at the beginning of next year.

The country posted skyrocketing growth in the number of Chinese tourists in the first half of this year, more than 1.2 million, accounting for roughly a quarter of total international visitors.

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