Vietnam is considering expanding its visa exemption policy to attract more international tourists, as stated in a government resolution on tourism development issued on Thursday.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been tasked with completing the application to extend the unilateral visa exemption policy and submitting it to the Government.
The Ministry of Public Security has been directed to provide a report to the Government regarding the expansion of the list of countries eligible for e-visas.
The Ministry of Transport has been assigned the responsibility of creating more favorable conditions for international airlines to establish routes to Vietnam and coordinating flight schedules more flexibly.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has been tasked with adding more tourist accommodation establishments, while the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism will develop a network of businesses participating in the global tourism supply chain.
The resolution also suggests that the Ministry of Finance propose preferential loan packages for tourism businesses.
Other ministries have been assigned the duty of promoting negotiations for visa exemptions with countries.
Since March, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has directed the Government to consider expanding the list of countries exempted from visas to enter Vietnam. Currently, Vietnam allows visa exemptions for 25 countries, whereas Malaysia and Singapore allow 162 countries, the Philippines 157 countries, and Thailand 65 countries.
Tourism industry insiders believe that Vietnam’s smaller number of visa-exempt countries puts it at a competitive disadvantage compared to other countries in the region.
The Government will propose adjustments to the immigration law to make it more convenient for foreigners to enter Vietnam by facilitating visa issuance and extending the duration of stay. These proposed changes will be voted on during a session starting on May 22.
Vietnam’s tourism industry aims to welcome 8 million international visitors and 102 million domestic visitors this year, with a total revenue target of 650 trillion VND ($27.7 billion).