Vietnam to trial granting e-visas to draw more foreign tourists
Friday, 2016-11-04 10:06:53
NDO - Vietnam will commence a trial period of issuing e-visas to foreign visitors from January 2017 as a measure to boost the tourism industry, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
The e-visa application process will be carried out via electronic means while the fees will be paid by wire transfer to ensure the process is transparent and minimise intermediary costs.
The e-visas will be granted after three days since the date of application and be valid for up to 30 days.
Visitors are also no longer required to provide letters of guarantee or invitation letters as currently required when applying for standard visas.
VNAT Director Nguyen Van Tuan said that the granting of e-visas would greatly facilitate foreigners planning to visit Vietnam, in addition, it is expected that there will be more incentive policies as Vietnam still remains less competitive than regional peers in terms of visa exemption.
He noted that Thailand grants visa exemption to residents of 58 countries, Malaysia 158 countries and Indonesia 169 countries, meaning that most tourists can visit major regional destinations without visas.
In addition to e-visas, the tourism sector proposes that the government should consider removing visa requirements for key source countries of visitors to Vietnam.
The VNAT said at a press conference on November 4 that it would use every means possible to promote Vietnam’s new visa policy including via its portal, on social media, as well as via notifications to embassies and travel agencies.
Vietnam’s tourism sector also unveiled a new mobile-friendly travel website dedicated to foreign visitors at http://vietnamtourism.vn, where tourists can learn about destinations in Vietnam, what to do in the country and even plan their trips.
Vietnam welcomed more than 8 million foreign visitors in the first ten months of the year while the total figure for 2016 is expected to reach 9.7 million.