Tourists excited over new Vietnam visa policy

Many foreigners are upbeat and already preparing plans to visit Vietnam after the country started granting three-month e-visas for citizens from all countries from Tuesday.

“It’s good that Vietnam is finally offering longer visa terms again.  This makes it easier for us to plan our winter stay. This will also bring more long-term tourists to Vietnam,” Peter Zimmermann from Germany told VnExpress International.

Zimmermann said he already booked flights to Vietnam on Monday together with two friends. Return flights now cost around 1,250 euros (US$1,365). 

“At the beginning of December, we will start our journey in HCMC and then drive to Nha Trang. There we will rent an apartment and travel around Vietnam and maybe even neighboring countries,” he added.

Hugh Lozina from the U.S. said he had waited a long time for Vietnam to finally resume its three-month e-visa policy.

“I hadn’t returned to Vietnam for the simple fact that they were only offering a 30-day visa. Now that it’s back to 90 days I will return,” Lozina said.

Martin Koerner, head of the tourism working group at the Vietnam Business Forum, said the new visa extension policy is a positive move by the government.

The policy will make Vietnam more attractive and competitive as a tourist destination in Southeast Asia, as it offers more flexibility and convenience for travelers who want to explore the country’s rich culture, natural beauty, and cuisine, Koerner said.

Vietnam’s target of international arrivals in 2023 most likely will exceed now, he said.

However, he added that Vietnam should consider waiving visas for more countries, especially those with high potential and demand for travel to Vietnam, such as from Europe.

“Australia and New Zealand would be two other important inbound markets to consider,” Koerner said.

“An important task now is to spread the news on Vietnam’s new policy and effective overseas marketing will be key for that. I think now is a good time to utilize such positive news and generate more attention for travel to Vietnam.”

In addition to grating e-visas to all countries, the government also extended the duration of stays in Vietnam from 15 to 45 days for citizens of 13 countries who are unilaterally exempted from visas.

Vietnam received 6.6 million foreign arrivals in the first seven months this year, equivalent to 83% of the full year’s 8-million target, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

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