Vietnamese tourism sector urges revision of visa regulations
The 14th National Assembly will debate this week some draft laws, including the law amending and supplementing some articles of the law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam, as part of the ongoing eighth session.
|Vietnamese National Assembly to question Government members on four groups of issues|
Vietnam’s tourism has developed strongly over the recent past and brought abouthigh economic values.
However, experts in the tourism sector said there still remain bottlenecks, oneof which being policies on the entry and exit of foreigners, which need to besettled in order to improve the sector’s competitiveness, thus attracting moreinternational visitors.
Hoang Nhan Chinh, head of the Secretariat of the Vietnam Tourism AdvisoryBoard, said the law on entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners inVietnam should be more open.
He cited as an example the stipulation that requires a gap of at least 30 daysbetween two visa-free visits.
Chinh further said that many international visitors, especially those fromWestern Europe, Northern Europe and Russia, want to stay in Vietnam longer thanthe maximum visa-free 15 days.
He also emphasized the need for a national website that publishes officialinformation about visa policies, citing a survey by the Vietnam TourismAdvisory which showed that most websites of Vietnamese embassies abroad fail toupdate latest information on the country’s visa policies.
Such a website should be prescribed clearly in the law on entry, exit, transitand residence of foreigners in Vietnam, he said.
Chinh also pointed to problems in visa granting at Vietnam’s border gates,which still requires visitors to apply for visas at embassies and receive visasat the border gates. He said this has reduced the tourism sector’scompetitiveness.
Experts in the tourism sector are concerned about the fact that the visaexemption policy for tourists from major markets like Russia, Japan and theRepublic of Korea (RoK) will end on December 31, 2019. They said the number ofvisitors from those markets would drop 30-50 percent if the policy is notextended.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration ofTourism, proposed expanding the list of countries and border gates eligible fore-visas.
Besides, Vietnam needs to reform visa grant procedures at border gates andreview its unilateral visa waiver policy, she said./. VNA
The Republic of Korea will temporarily waive the visa application fee for Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31.
Foreign businesspeople and travelers will be able to easily enter Vietnam without having to wait too long under proposed new regulations.