New visa policy presents breakthrough opportunity for tourism industry

The National Assembly recently passed a bill featuring new and open policies on immigration procedures – a move which is expected to provide the tourism industry with a strong boost moving forward.

Under the new bill which is due to take effect from August 15, Vietnam will allow foreigners to extend their e-visas validity to 90 days, as opposed to the current period of 30 days.

During their approved duration, foreigners will be able to enter and exit the nation multiple times, without having to go through new visa procedures.

Foreigners who are subject to visa exemption will duly be granted a temporary residence certificate at international border gates which will be valid for 45 days, as opposed to the current period of 15 days. In addition, they will be considered for visa issuance and temporary residence extension according to regulations.

The new visa policy is anticipated to provide fresh impetus for the tourism industry when the peak international tourism season arrives at the end of the year.

Visa policy – a competitive tool

A group of foreign holidaymakers visit a historical vestige in Hue - the former imperial city of Vietnam.

For the tourism industry, the latest visa policy can be seen as a powerful competitive tool, especially amid increasing competition between destinations, according to an official of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

Despite possessing many advantages, Vietnam loses ground to other regional countries in terms of tourism. Almost every week the country boasts a destination, a hotel, a business, or a dish that is featured in regional and global top lists. The country is currently a favourite destination among holidaymakers from India and China, two of the world’s largest markets. Even travelers from markets as far away as Europe and the United States have a hugely positive impression and vote for Vietnam in polls after coming to the country.

“With more open visa policy, the Vietnamese tourism industry will certainly bounce back very quickly and be able to compete with big names in the region,” said the VNAT official in an interview granted to

“We expect that along with the immigration regulations, the list of visa-exempt countries will also be expanded soon. The tourism industry will continue to strengthen links, build promotional programmes, create more unique and attractive products, and focus on overseas markets,” he added.

Shortly after the National Assembly passed the bill, Viet Media Travel Corporation immediately sent information regarding the new immigration policy to its partners in key markets such as Europe, the US, and Australia.

“We expect that the new visa policy can increase the number of inbound customers of the company by 5% to 25% per year,” stated Pham Phuong Anh, general director of Viet Media Travel.

More synchronous policies needed

Foreigners enjoy coffee and tea in Hoi An ancient town recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.

The aviation industry, which relies heavily on the rebound of tourism services, welcomes the introduction of the new visa policy. A representative of Vietnam Airlines, the largest in the country, stated that Vietnam is anticipating a golden opportunity to expand its market with a diverse segment of customers.

Most recently, the Michelin list of restaurants and foods in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been announced. Foreigners will be able to learn more about Vietnam and want to visit the country, not only because of its distinctive nature and culture, but also to sample the cuisine that has been enrolled in the world’s culinary elite.

“Along with the new visa policy, if the list of visa-exempt countries is quickly expanded, this will create a great opportunity to attract international visitors to Vietnam just from the third quarter of this year. The more international visitors come, the sooner the tourism industry can fully recover, so will the aviation industry,” said a representative of Vietravel Airlines.

Extending the multiple –entry visa validity to the current period of 30 days 90 days means increasing the flexibility for travelers when they design their trip. This will therefore give the tourism industry the opportunity to diversify visitor experience many times.

“Visitors can come to Vietnam for a while, then travel to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia or even back home before returning to Vietnam to continue their experience,” analysed Dr. Luong Hoai Nam, member of the Tourism Advisory Board.

Furthermore, the new policy is also suitable for senior foreign citizens wishing to enjoy the entire winter or summer, those who travel and work remotely, and those investing in the Vietnamese market.

“Given the current difficult and fiercely competitive market, the more the visitor segments are diversified, the sooner the tourism industry will recover, the more other industries will benefit from tourism services,” said Dr. Nam.

To make the best use of the new visa policy, Dr. Nam also suggested that Vietnam quickly expand the list of visa-exempt countries in order to create synergy and bring strong communication values for source markets.

                                                                                       Source: VOV -