E-visa policy boosts tourism and people's rights of travelling

The e-visa pilot scheme, implemented since the beginning of this year, appears to have a positive impact on Vietnam’s tourism.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), after nearly four months of implementing the e-visa pilot scheme, the country, via its immigration portal at www.immigration.gov.vn, has received more than 22,000 e-visa applications from nationals of the US, the UK, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Slovakia, Japan, Sweden and China, just to mention those who do not use ordinary e-passports. Competent authorities have granted e-visas to nearly 21,000 applicants of whom more than 12,000 have actually entered the country.

Standing Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said the issuance of e-visas had helped ease the process of applying for an entry visa to Vietnam for tourists from 40 countries.

Early in July 2015, Vietnam offered visa-free entry for visitors from five Western European countries, namely the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. On June 30, 2016, this policy was extended for another one year, helping increase the number of European tourists, especially from these five countries, to Vietnam, Binh said.

VNAT statistics showed that the total number visitors from five Western European countries increased by an average of 15.4 percent within 12 months since the visa exemption policy came into effect. In the first four months of 2017, the number of tourist arrivals from these five countries hit around 333,000, up 15 percent year-on-year.

As the visa waiver program will terminate on June 30 this year, the Government has extended the program to lure more tourists from these big markets. Howerver, Binh suggested that the program should be waived for five years while the period of stay entitled to visa exemption should be extended up to 30 days instead of 15 days as at present.

Simplifying immigration procedures has now been a common trend around the world. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-17 from the World Economic Forum, the percentage of tourists requesting visas to enter a country decreased from 77 percent in 2008 to 58 percent in 2016.

Up to date, Vietnam has waived visas for visitors from 22 countries, a modest number as compared with Indonesia with 169 countries and territories, Singapore, 158, Malaysia, 155, and Brunei, 58./.
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All comments [ 10 ]

Gentle Moon 20/6/17 21:06

Freedom of movement, mobility rights, or the right to travel is a human rights concept encompassing the right of individuals to travel from place to place within the territory of a country and to leave the country and return to it.

John Smith 20/6/17 21:07

Such a right is provided in the constitutions of numerous states, and in documents reflecting norms of international law.

LawrenceSamuels 20/6/17 21:07

Some people and organizations advocate an extension of the freedom of movement to include a freedom of movement – or migration – between the countries as well as within the countries.

yobro yobro 20/6/17 21:10

Restrictions on international travel on people (immigration or emigration) are commonplace.

Jane smartnic 20/6/17 21:11

Within countries, freedom of travel is often more limited for minors, and penal law can modify this right as it applies to persons charged with or convicted of crimes.

MaskOf Zero 20/6/17 21:12

In some countries, freedom of movement has historically been limited for women, and for members of disfavored racial and social groups.

Love Peace 20/6/17 21:14

Government approves new visa policy can attract foreigners and boost trade.

Deck Hero14 20/6/17 21:18

With the enlarged scope, the e-tourist visa will be rechristened the e-visa and shall allow the holder dual entries for tourism and business purposes.

Only Solidar 20/6/17 21:19

The simplification is likely to bring more revenue to the industry and to attract more visitors from the given countries.

Pack Cassiopian 20/6/17 21:20

The e-visa regime will primarily affect the four aforementioned nations, given how strategic they are and what they represent in the number of foreign tourists and total income.

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