Tourist Visa Exemption policy for visitors from main tourism markets
From March 15, 2022, Vietnam will reopen inbound and outbound tourism under new normal conditions, allowing foreigners to visit Vietnam without having to book package tours.
However, at the moment, Vietnam still requires visitors to hold visas so that they can enter Vietnam.
This is considered as a hindrance for Vietnam to attract foreign tourists. The reason for that is because after the pandemic, many countries have already relaxed visa policies for foreign visitors while Vietnam still requires a visa.
Specifically, before the pandemic, Vietnam issued visa exemptions for citizens from 24 countries. Meanwhile, Thailand did not require visas for travelers from 66 countries and the numbers are 158, 155 and 169 for Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia respectively.
This may make tourists choose other destinations to visit instead of Vietnam.
Therefore, many tourism experts have proposed a relaxation in visa exemption policy to attract more inbound tourists. They suggest the government consider waiving visas for citizens from more countries as soon as Vietnam fully reopens its borders.
Accordingly, Luong Hoai Nam, member of the Tourism Advisory Board, suggested that the government should waive visas for travelers from the EU, Australia and New Zealand.
In the case of Vietnam’s major tourism markets like China and the U.S, the government needs to consider long-term visas of up to 10 years to attract more tourists to help the tourism industry rebound quickly.
There is a positive sign for Vietnam tourism that some foreign airlines have resumed flights to tourist destinations in central Vietnam from March. The aviation industry expects to carry 42-43 million passengers this year, including around 6 million foreign tourists.