Vietnam Loosens Visa Policy to Attract International Visitors
|International visitors at the Temple of Literature.
At the 5th session, the National Assembly has just passed the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese citizens, and the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of foreigners in Vietnam.
Tthe duration of the electronic visa (e-visa) will be increased from 30 to 90 days. The Government shall decide on the list of countries and territories where citizens are granted, and the list of international border gates allow foreigners to enter and exit via e-visa .
After being granted an electronic visa, in 90 days, foreigners can enter and exit an unlimited number of times, without having to go through new visa procedures.
The law also allows citizens of countries that are unilaterally exempted from visas by Vietnam to be granted temporary residence for 45 days (previous regulation is 15 days) and be considered for visa applying and temporary residence extension according to regulations.
According to businesses, the loosening of the visa policy will give a push to the international visitor market which is quiet due to the impact of the troubled economy, causing people in many parts of the world to tighten their spending, including travel.
The report "Vietnam Tourism Outlook 2023" of a tourism market research unit shows that the rate of international tourism recovery is only 23% in 2019, lower than the world average recovery rate of 55%.
According to the report of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, in 2022, when opening after the pandemic, Vietnam still maintained the same visa policy as before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Therefore, despite opening early, at the end of the year, attracting tourists was not effective.
The number of international visitors only reached 70% of the target of 5 million visitors. Meanwhile, the surrounding countries achieved the plan, and exceeded their goals high and early.
According to Vietnamese tourism businesses, one of the conditions for them to achieve their plans early is due to the flexible visa policy.
Every country has an immigration law, and many countries have strict regulations. However, depending on the purpose and goal in each period, they have a policy to adjust, and apply that policy flexibly.
In Thailand, they apply for visa exemption 30 days, then 60 days, then 90 days and now 108 days. Indonesia also increases the visa-free period to 180 days for those with US$100,000. The RoK, Japan or even the US are also flexible in loosening visa policies.
Therefore, many people think that the easing of the visa policy that has just been approved by the National Assembly will help Vietnam prolong the stay and increase the spending of tourists, overcoming the existing limitations of Vietnam's tourism.
This policy is also expected to facilitate businesses to design products for high-paying customers with stays of 3 weeks or more.
|Many people think that the relaxation of the visa policy recently approved by the National Assembly will help Vietnam prolong the stay and increase the spending of tourists. Photo: diendandoanhnghiep
The policy will take effect from August 2023, which is an opportunity for businesses to promote to target markets right in this year's autumn-winter peak season.
The improvement of visa policy not only shows that Vietnam is adapting and flexibly recovering the tourism industry after the Covid-19 pandemic, but also a foundation for tourism businesses to develop sustainably and equally with other countries in the region.
Phung Quang Thang, Vietnam Sustainable Tourism Investment and Development Jsc. (Vietnam STID) said that the new visa policy is aimed at tourists with high spending and long-term travel.
From a business perspective, long-term guests who spend for a lot of services will be more profitable than guests who go in large numbers but for a short time. From there, the tourism unit will have suitable tourism products to increase economic efficiency.
According to Nguyen Trung Khanh, chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese citizens, and the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of foreigners in Vietnam with a longer stay period will contribute to improving the competition of Vietnam's tourism products.
Vu The Binh, chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said that the amendments and supplements to a number of articles of the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of foreigners in Vietnam will take effect from August 15, 2023.
This is the time when tourism businesses both prepare suitable tourism products and promote them to international visitors. This can also be considered as a breakthrough in the direction of developing in-depth international tourist attraction towards long-stay, high-paying visitors.
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