The information was revealed by the Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung at the regular press conference of the Vietnam Government yesterday.
At the conference, representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and related ministries proposed to continue the implementation of visa exemptions for five abovementioned European nations. The policy expiration date is June 30, 2018 and the exemption is currently subject to renewal every year.
After listening to representatives of ministries, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc agreed to renew the visa exemptions for five European nations for the period of three years right after their expiration in June this year.
The National Assembly of Vietnam has also allowed the Government to pilot e-visas so that visitors from all over the world can apply for visas, contributing to the increase in the number of visitors to Vietnam.
In 2015, there were 720,000 visitors from Western Europe to Vietnam. The figure for 2016 increased to 855,000 visitors that reached 4.5 million in 2017.
The Chairman of the Government Office said that alongside with effective tourism promotion activities, visa exemption policies have supported Vietnam in maintaining its international visitor growth at approximately 30 per cent.
Earlier last month, Vietnam Tourism Advisory Board (TAB) proposed the Government to increase the length of exempted stay for tourists to 30 days instead of granting 15-day visa.
It also recommended to increase the number of visa exempt countries and in particular to add Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Belgium.
Answering media’s questions about these recommendations, Dung said that the Prime Minister would re-evaluate the pilot and the practical result of the given policies first.