Vietnam continues visa exemptions for five European countries
Updated : Saturday, May 05, 2018 11:03 AM (GMT+0700)

Vietnamwill renew visa exemptions for a three-year period for the citizens of fiveWestern European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain andItaly from the first day of July 2018 for a three-year period.

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The decision was approved byPrime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the regular Governmentmeeting on May 3.

The information was revealedby the Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung atthe regular press conference of the Vietnam Government yesterday.

Accordingly, citizens fromthe five aforementioned countries will continue to enjoy visa exemptions toenter Vietnam up to 2020 after the expiration of the visa-free policy in Junethis year.

The PM said that Vietnamshould continue to expand its visa-exemption policy as the country hasunilaterally offered visa exemptions for citizens from only 24 countries,including nine ASEAN countries.

Earlier last month, the VietnamTourism Advisory Board (TAB) proposed the Government to increase the length ofexempted stay for tourists to 30 days instead of granting 15-day visa.

It also recommended toincrease the number of visa exempt countries and in particular to addCanada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Belgium.

In 2015, Vietnam welcomed720,000 western European tourists. The number increased 19 percent in 2016 anddoubled to 1.5 million in 2017.

Visitors from thesecountries increased by 5.5-16.8% in the first four months of this year,accounting for 6.6 percent of all foreign arrivals to Vietnam, according toofficial statistics.

More than 5.5 millionforeign visitors arrived in Vietnam in the first four months of this year, up astaggering 29.5% over the same period last year, according to the latest reportfrom the General Statistics Office.

The country is amongcountries with the strictest visa policy in Asia. The country currently offersvisa waivers to visitors from only 22 countries and territories including ASEANco-members.


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