Vietnam tourism forecast to see robust growth as visa restrictions relaxed: HSBC

By Hoang Vu   June 1, 2023 | 02:02 am PT
Vietnam tourism forecast to see robust growth as visa restrictions relaxed: HSBC
South Korean tourists visit Ponaga Tower in Nha Trang, central Vietnam, May 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Bui Toan
Tourism has become a bright spot amid Vietnam’s gloomy economic picture and the industry could witness a boost in the second half as new visa laws are passed, HSBC has said.

"With the approaching summer holidays and potential easing of visa restrictions, which are under considerations by the National Assembly, Vietnam will likely see a punchier boost from international tourism, a much-needed support for its sharply slowing economy," HSBC said in a report.

Vietnam has received 4.6 million international tourists so far this year, around 60% of this year’s target of 8 million.

In May alone, it received over 916,000 foreign tourist arrivals.

Despite falling slightly from April’s figure, Vietnam has seen its inbound tourism recovery reach around 70% of pre-pandemic levels.

Tourists from China, the biggest feeder market of Vietnam’s tourism before the pandemic, have recovered to 35% of pre-pandemic levels.

Legislators will vote on new bill on June 24 that seeks to extend the validity of e-visas from 30 days to a maximum of three months and allow multiple entries, and triple to 45 days the duration of visa-free stays for tourists from certain countries who now enjoy a 15-day waiver.

Vietnam offers e-visas to citizens of 80 countries and territories. It waives visa for citizens from 25 countries, mostly for between 15-30 days, a policy considered less generous than other countries in the region.

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