Vietnam extends visa waiver for UK passport holders

VietnamThe Vietnam Government has announced that it will continue its visa exemption program for UK passport holders until 30 June 2017.

The policy, which only applies for single-entry stays of up to 15 days, is also available for German, French, Italian and Spanish nationals.

Those looking to stay in Vietnam for longer than 15 days must get a visa beforehand, as well as those that wish to re-enter the country within 30 days of departure.

Figures from Vietnam’s General Statistics Office show that 4.7 million people visited the country in the first half of 2016, a 21.3% increase on the same period last year.

It has also been reported that the amount taken in annual tourism revenue has increased by 22% to £6.8 billion.

The visa waiver helped bring in more than 681,000 visitors from the five Western European countries from July 2015 to June 2016, up over 15% year-on-year.

Convincing more tourists to travel

Vietnam granted visa waivers to 22 countries, whilst the regional countries have also simplified visa requirements in order to try and woo tourists.

In order to hit the target of welcoming 20 million international visitors in 2019, Indonesia has exempted visas for citizens from 79 more countries and territories since March 2016, bringing the total to 169.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2015’s report ranked Vietnam 75th out of 141 countries in the WEF’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI).

Although Vietnam was highly appreciated in terms of natural resources (40th position), cultural resources (33rd position) and price competitiveness (22nd position), the country only managed 89th position for international openness.

Vietnam stood at 119th in terms of visa requirements, which is one of three international openness’s indicators.

News of Vietnam extending its visa exemption program follows the introduction of Vietnam Airlines’ non-stop service between Heathrow and Vietnam, which runs daily.

If you’re thinking of travelling abroad this year, be sure to organise your backpackers travel insurance in advance

Date Created: 05 July 2016

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