|The visa exemption policy for citizens of five European countries will expire in the next three months. Whether and when it might be renewed are still open questions, creating a headache for tourists and Vietnamese businesses that serve them. — Photo dantri.com.vn|
HÀ NỘI – The visa exemption policy for citizens of five European countries will expire in the next three months. Whether and when it might be renewed are still open questions, creating a headache for tourists and Vietnamese businesses that serve them.
To address the dramatic decrease of international tourists to Việt Nam in 2015, the Government granted citizens of the United Kingdom, Republic of France, Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of Spain and Republic of Italy a visa exemption for stays of less than 15 days, regardless of passport type and travel purpose from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.
After one year of piloting the visa exemption, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc decided to renew the policy for one year, till June 30, 2017.
He made the decision on June 30, 2016 and it came into effect the next day. Similarly, in 2017 when the Government renewed the policy again, it did so only 24 days before the expiration date on June 6, 2017. Therefore, there’s good reason to expect it will be renewed again—but little reason to think it will happen in time for visitors and guides to plan for it with ease.
Nguyễn Thiên Phúc, an inbound tour operator, said that announcing visa policies too close to the enforcement dates puts both tourism enterprises and tourists at risk. Companies commonly build up tour programmes six months to one year prior. They cannot promote tour packages if the visa is not fixed.
Phúc told Thanh niên (Young people) newspaper that his foreign partners usually complained about the late announcement of Vietnamese visa policies as tourists usually register for tours four to five months before the departure dates.
The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 published by the World Economic Forum ranks Việt
In comparison to other countries in the region, Việt
The visa-exempt stay duration is only 15 days, quicker than the typical trip of an international tourist to Việt
Nguyễn Quốc Kỳ, head of Vietravel Company Managing Board, said that these shortcomings obstruct the influx of tourists to Việt
“From 2011 to 2017,