Vietnam Time

5/6/2018 9:56:16 PM

PM agrees to extension of visa exemption for five Western European countries

Vietnam will extend visa exemptions for citizens from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy for the next three years, starting from the beginning of July.

Foreign tourists visit the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tien Giang. (VNA/VNS Photo Nam Thai)

The decision was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a monthly Government meeting in Hanoi on Thursday (May 3rd).

The visa waiver programme for five European countries, which began in July 2015, has been renewed every year. It will expire at the end of June.

Speaking at a press meeting on the monthly Government meeting on Thursday, the Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung said the Government would consider proposals from the Vietnam Tourism Association on the extension of the period of stay from 15 to 30 days and expansion of visa exemptions for more countries.

Chairman Dung said that the visa-waiver policy and effective tourism promotion programmes had contributed to maintaining the annual growth rate of foreign visitors at nearly 30 per cent.

In 2015, the number of tourists from Western European countries visiting Vietnam totaled 720,000.

The number climbed to 855,000 in 2016 and doubled to 1.5 million in 2017.

In the first four months of the year, the number of foreign tourist arrivals grew 29.5 per cent year-on-year to reach more than 5.54 million, according to the General Statistics Office.

The number of European visitors rose by 12.9 per cent, with Italy at 19.7 per cent, the UK, 11.1 per cent, France, 8.6 per cent, Spain, 5.5 per cent, and Germany, 8 per cent./.

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