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Published on : Monday, August 14, 2017
HCM City’s Department of Tourism has asked the Government extend its visa exemption policy for international tourists from nine countries up to 30 days from 15 days to promote tourism development for reaching the city’s target of 10-11 million international tourists by 2020. These countries are Sweden, Denmark, Russia, South Korea, England, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Under this visa exemption policy, people from these countries would not have to apply for a visa if their stay in Vietnam does not exceed 30 days, instead of the 15 days under the current policy.
Last year, around 5.2 million international tourists came to HCM City, which is an increase of 10 per cent compared to 2015. During the last two years, the number of tourists from the Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain increased by 14 per cent each year, all thanks to the latest visa exemption policy. The department said the visa exemption policy should be for five years.
The UNWTO and the WTTC research showed that based on the visa-free policy, the number of international tourists coming to the ASEAN countries increased by 3-5 per cent per year, bringing significant economic benefits.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Vietnam’s tourism ranked 22nd in terms of Price Competitiveness of 141 countries, but 119th in terms of visa requirements. Only visitors from 22 countries are granted visas exemptions in Vietnam while Indonesia is exempting visas for visitors from 169 countries and territories, Philippines 165, Singapore 158, Malaysia 155, Thailand 61, Laos 40 and Cambodia 25.