International vacationers upbeat as minister seeks visa waiver growth

Foreign tourists upbeat as minister seeks visa waiver expansion

International vacationers take a coracle tour at Bay Mau nipa palm forest close to Hoi An historic city in central Vietnam, June 2022. Photograph by VnExpress/Dac Thanh

International vacationers have hailed as “optimistic step” Vietnam’s tourism minister proposing visa exemption be expanded for main markets like Europe and the U.S.

Nguyen Van Hung, Minister of Tradition, Sports activities and Tourism, had proposed earlier this week that Vietnam expands visa exemption for vacationers from Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Europe, and the U.S. to spice up tourism restoration after greater than two years of pandemic restrictions.

Michael Burger from the U.S., who visited Vietnam in Might, stated the proposal was positively a optimistic step towards making travel to Vietnam simpler.

“As an everyday customer to Vietnam, I really feel delighted to listen to this information,” Burger advised VnExpress Worldwide.

It could assist enhance Vietnam’s tourism competitiveness amongst Southeast Asian nations that already exempt American passport holders from having to get a visa for stays of underneath 30 days.

Ken Rafter from Australia stated it might be “implausible information” if Australians are exempted from acquiring a visa previous to visiting Vietnam.

“When Vietnam reopened to worldwide tourism in March, my household had a horrible time trying to acquire visas earlier than our flights departed from Sydney,” Rafter stated.

Ken Rafter (2nd, L) takes a photo with his family on a cruise in Ha Long Bay April 2022 as Vietnam reopened international tourism. Photo courtesy of Ken Rafter

Ken Rafter (2nd, L) together with his household on a cruise ship in Ha Lengthy Bay in April 2022. Photograph courtesy of Ken Rafter

“As an alternative of taking three days to acquire visas as regular, it took us as much as 12 days. So I actually see not having to acquire a visa earlier than entry as a optimistic factor.”

Nitesh Chavda from India, who plans to go to Vietnam within the subsequent two months, was additionally proud of the tourism minister’s proposal.

“Excellent news! If the Vietnamese authorities presents a visa-free coverage for Indians, I imagine many Indian vacationers will go to the nation,” he stated.

India is at present seen as a rustic with potential to spice up post-pandemic tourism restoration in Vietnam.

Vietnamese authorities are actually issuing as much as 6,000 visas a day to Indians, a 24-fold enhance from pre-Covid occasions, stated Pham Sanh Chau, the nation’s ambassador in New Delhi.

Vietnam reopened its borders to overseas vacationers final November earlier than permitting quarantine-free entry from March 15.

Along with 24 tourism markets eligible for 15 to 30-day visa exemption, Vietnam now solely points a one-month single-entry e-visa to guests from different nations.

Some vacationers need the federal government to return to the three-month visa coverage that was the norm earlier than the pandemic.

Justin Douglas from the U.S. stated: “With out extending the permitted size of keep, it does probably not change my opinion on the visa coverage. 30 days is already pretty restrictive, however contemplating that the majority journeys from the U.S. take 30 hours (plus jet lag restoration time), it would not make a lot sense to return for a visa-exempt keep of simply 15 days when there are many different locations nearer to residence.”

Douglas believed that the 90-day period of keep must be introduced again to draw vacationers.

“I’m at present in Da Nang to go to my buddies I have never seen since 2020 however counting days is traumatic.”

Vietnam has welcomed 954,000 overseas arrivals within the first seven months this yr, up 9 occasions year-on-year.

The nation hopes to welcome 5 million overseas vacationers this yr, round 30 % of pre-pandemic ranges.