Tourism minister proposes visa exemption for US, European travelers
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung proposed expanding visa exemption for tourists from the U.S., Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India to boost sector recovery.
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He also suggested the government consider simplifying immigration procedures to attract foreign tourists as Vietnam reopened after over two years of border closure, he said in a report submitted to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Tuesday.
Hung also proposed extending tax cuts to tourism businesses until the end of 2023 to help them recover after the pandemic crisis.
Though Vietnam reopened tourism and lifted most Covid restrictions, Hung said travel firms and those working in the tourism industry are grappling with difficulties and have not really benefited directly from current policies.
The country welcomed 954,000 foreign arrivals in the first seven months this year, up nine times year-on-year.
This year, Vietnam targets five million foreign tourists, around 30 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
The government has allowed quarantine-free entry and resumed its pre-pandemic visa exemption policy for 24 tourism markets including Western European countries from mid-March with a maximum stay of 15 days.