Vietnam considers exempting more countries from tourist visas to boost growth


Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said Vietnam’s government might waive tourist visa requirements for more countries and permit an extended length of stay for international travellers to stimulate tourism.

The prime minister said the visa waiver would also help boost economic growth.

The minister, at a conference on tourism recovery after the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic said the Southeast Asian country “is also considering expanding the list of countries eligible for electronic visas.

Vietnam already waives visa requirements for tourists from 25 countries and also grants a one-month single-entry e-visa to visitors from 80 countries.

Currently, only tourists from Chile and Panama are granted a 90-day visa waiver, while citizens from most ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries are offered a stay of 30 days without a tourist visa.

The visa waiver proposals are part of the government’s stimulus measures to pave the way for its tourism sector to recover to pre-pandemic levels.

According to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the industry accounted for 9.2 per cent of the country’s annual gross domestic product in 2019.

The ministry said the industry recorded 18 million international arrivals and 720 trillion Vietnamese dongs (30.2 billion U.S. dollars) in revenue in 2019.

Between January and February this year, the country gained 3.6 billion dollars in revenue from 1.8 million foreign arrivals.

Vietnam is targeting to earn 27.3 billion dollars in tourism revenue this year, equivalent to 90.3 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.


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