Making news

HCM City seeks visa waiver extension to boost tourism

The HCM City People’s Committee wants the Government to extend the visa waiver period for tourists from key foreign markets to increase the country’s tourism competitiveness and attract more visitors.

It has proposed that the Government should extend the visa-free stay to 21 days or 30 days from the current 15 for travellers from countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland, Russia, Denmark, the Republic of Korea, Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain so that they would have enough time to tour the country.

At present, nationals of 22 countries and territories do not require a visa to enter the country.

HCM City also suggested waiving visas for tourists from five western European countries – the UK, France, German, Italy, and Spain – for five years at a time instead of one year and for tourists from the visa-waiver countries re-entering Vietnam within 30 days of their last exit.

The number of tourists from the five western European countries has been increasing at 14 percent a year since the visa-free policy took effect two years ago.

Half of all foreign visitors coming to Vietnam visit HCM City.

Last year the city received more than 6.38 million visitors, a year-on-year increase of 22.8 percent.

Its tourism revenues rose 12.6 percent to 116 trillion VND (5.1 billion USD), accounting for a fourth of the entire country’s tourism earnings.

HCM City targets 7.5 million foreign visitors this year. -VNA/VNP