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S Korea encourages Vietnamese visitors

Update: October, 29/2013 - 09:58
Lee Guy Heong, head of the Korea immigration department, said they intend to loosen conditions for granting visa for tourist groups, aiming particularly to attract more Vietnamese visitors.— File Photo

HCM CITY  (VNS) — South Korea is seeking to encourage more Vietnamese citizens to visit the country, both as tourists and investos, officials said at a press conference last Friday.

The press conference, held by the Korea Tourism Organisation in Viet Nam, in co-operation with the office of the South Korea Consul General in HCM City, sought to introduce both new and salient features of the country's visa policies and its tourism products.

In the first nine months of this year, 99,799 Vietnamese citizens visited S.Korea, up eight per cent year-on-year, officials said.

But given the suspension of labour export from Viet Nam, the real increase of travellers should be around 20 per cent, said Kang Sungghil, chief representative of The Korea Tourism Organisation in Viet Nam.

The conference also sought to answer doubts of tourists and travel agencies about obtaining a Korean visa so as to attract more Vietnamese to travel to the country, organisers said in a press release.

The conference presents a lot of useful information on the tourism visa, the kind of visa that has been increasing every year in Viet Nam, said Oh Jae-hack, Korean Consul General in HCM City.

There are ten flights everyday connecting Viet Nam and Korea, he said.

The Korean government has improved its visa policy since September 1 this year, including increasing the number of multiple-entry visas, simplifying visa-application procedures and reducing visa fees from US$30 to $20.

The improvements are aimed at encouraging more Vietnamese tourists to visit the country, Oh said.

Concurrently, the government is applying its investment immigration regulations allowing foreigners, including their family, to invest in real estate or property in Korea to enter the country freely and apply for jobs, he said.

"These people are granted denizen status," he added. The Consul General also said that his office would accept the certificate of gold or platinum card holders with Shinhan Bank Viet Nam in lieu of documents attesting the financial situation of tourists. Previously this service was only available for Ha Noi residents.

Lee Guy Heong, head of the Korea immigration department, said they intend to loosen conditions for granting visa for tourist groups, aiming particularly to attract more Vietnamese visitors.

Kang Sungghil said this is the first year that the Korea Tourism Organisation has held so many activities in Viet Nam. — VNS

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