Vietnamese tourism officials plan to launch an electronic visa service for foreign tourists by next year.
The program, which is currently under development, would provide tourists entering the country with a printable e-visa, reports VnExpress. Applicants would be able to complete the visa registration process online prior to receiving this email.
At a tourism development conference held earlier this week, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced that he would allocate VND200 billion (US$8.96 million) to expedite the project's implementation.
The official cost of the e-visa has yet to be decided, however government officials intend to launch the service on January 1, 2017.
The move comes as Vietnam aims to reach 8.5 million tourist arrivals by the end of 2016, a 6% jump from last year, and a tourism revenue of over US$16 billion. Moving forward, tourism officials have set a target of 10-10.5 million international tourists by 2020 with a tourism revenue of US$18-19 billion.
International arrivals have skyrocketed in 2016, with 5.55 million foreign visitors to Vietnam in the first seven months of this year. While this represents a 24% climb year-on-year for the country’s tourist arrivals, it’s also worth noting that 2015 was a rough year for Vietnamese tourism, as visitor numbers were in a free fall until July. In 2016, however, numbers areback on track and have been climbing steadily ever since.
Vietnam also waives visas for 21 countries. Last month, tourism officials renewed a 15-day visa exemption for citizens of UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
( Source : Saigoneer.com)