Vietnam tourism minister proposes granting e-visa to all markets

By Viet Tuan   December 21, 2022 | 12:55 am PT
Vietnam tourism minister proposes granting e-visa to all markets
Foreigners take a group photo in Hoi An ancient town, Quang Nam Province, March 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung has proposed that the government consider granting e-visas to all countries and territories, instead of the current 80, to boost foreign tourist numbers.

At a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on post-Covid international tourism recovery on Wednesday, Hung urged the government to extend visa-free stays for foreign tourists to 30 days and to grant visa-on-arrival for foreigners at immigration.

The meeting was held in response to Vietnam's poor tourism recovery following the reopening of the country after the pandemic. Vietnam would only get around 3.5 million international visitors this year, much lower than its target of five million.

Vietnam just waives visas for travelers from 24 countries compared to 162 for Malaysia, 157 for the Philippines and 65 for Thailand.

Hung added that Vietnam's visa-free stays for Western European tourists with a maximum stay of 15 days "is too short compared to other countries in the region as European tourists tend to stay for 3-4 weeks."

Vietnam was one of the first Southeast Asian countries to reopen to international tourism on March 15 after the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to its widespread vaccination campaign.

However, it lagged far behind several of Vietnam's Southeast Asian neighbors in tourism recovery, with Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia already achieving their targets.

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