In a bid to attract more tourists and foreign visitors as well as boost the domestic tourism industry, Vietnam has announced, it has been working on a new scheme to grant electronic visas (e-visas) to visitors starting next year (2017).
Speaking at a national tourism development conference, Vietnamese Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that the government has allocated some VND 200 billion (USD 8.97 million) to speed up the implementation of the new scheme, so that the e-visa system can be launched on Jan. 1, 2017.
The Vietnamese e-visas will be issued to applicants in a printer-friendly email after the online application form is filled. The government has also directed the ministries of finance, public security and foreign affairs to define e-visa fees and ensure foreign tourists are warmly welcomed upon arrival.
Currently, a Vietnamese tourist visa may be obtained upon arrival at the country’s international airports where tourists have to make long queues, or via Vietnamese embassies or consulates.
The country currently has a visa waiver program for citizens from 21 countries and territories. Last month, the 15-day visa waiver policy for citizens of Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, was renewed for another year.
This year (2016), a total 8.5 million foreign tourists are expected to visit (up 6 percent over 2015) with tourism revenue expected to hit more than USD16 billion, up 9 percent year-on-year.
By 2020, the country hopes to attract 10 – 10.5 million international visitors with tourism revenue reaching USD18 billion – USD19 billion each year.
Source: VNExpress; Image via voavietnam.net