E-Visa Facilities Boost Tourist Arrivals to Vietnam

In the first half of the year, Vietnam welcomed 6.2 million foreign tourists, an increase of 30.2% over the previous year. The number of domestic visitors reached more than 40 million people. The total turnover of tourism in Vietnam is estimated at VND262 000 billion, equivalent to US$11.4 billion.

According to the Director General of the National Tourism Administration, Nguyên Van Tuân, the positive results of tourism in Vietnam is due to the adoption of several favorable policies for the development of tourism with the goal of making it a leading sector. Further development is expected with the new Law on Tourism. Adopted at the end of June by the National Assembly, the law will become effective from January 1st, 2018. It is due to strengthen the tourism sector detailing all regulations through nine chapters and 82 articles.

The Law on Tourism encompasses many regulations on tourism resources, products and activities as well as the rights and obligations of tourists, organizations and individual  doing tourism business but also the code of conduct of agencies, organizations and individuals involving in other tourism-related activities and the state management of tourism.

Meanwhile, VNAT Director General Nguyên Van Tuân praised the positive impact following the introduction of electronic visas to 40 countries  back to February. It also supported the extension of the visa exemption for British, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Belarus citizens until the 30th of June, 2018.In effect since 2015, this exemption has made it possible to increase the number of arrivals of foreign visitors.

In order to maintain this growth, Nguyên Van Tuân called on the government to apply the prorogation of the visa exemption and to extend it to 30 days instead of the current 15 days. More countries should also be included into the free visa scheme.

In total, Vietnam welcomed 6.21 million foreign visitors during the first half of the year, up by over 30%. Arrivals from Asia were up by 35% due to the excellent performance of markets such as China (+56.7%), South Korea (+44%) or Cambodia (+35.5%).

Europe was flirting with the million tourists during the first half of the year with a growth in total arrivals of 24%. European markets are driven by the jump in arrivals from Russia (+53%), Spain (+29%) and Sweden (+21.5%). Arrivals from Americas were up by 10.8% and the Pacific area by 9.5%.
“With 30% growth in the first half of the year, the tourism sector could easily reach by the end of the year 12.5 to 13 million tourists,” Nguyên Van Tuân said.

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