16:05 | 04/05/2018 Society
Vietnam will renew visa exemptions for a three-year period for the citizens of five Western European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.
|Vietnam welcomed approximately 1.5 million Western European visitors in 2017 - Illustrative image|
The decision was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the regular Government meeting on May 3.
Accordingly, citizens from the five aforementioned countries will continue to enjoy visa exemptions to enter Vietnam up to 2020 after the expiration of the visa-free policy in June this year.
The PM said that Vietnam should continue to expand its visa-exemption policy as the country has unilaterally offered visa exemptions for citizens from only 24 countries, including nine ASEAN countries.
According to Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung, the open-door visa policy aligned with enhanced tourism promotion has contributed to maintaining Vietnam's growth rate of foreign visitors at nearly 30 percent annually.
Minister Dung noted that the Government will consider proposals from the Vietnam Tourism Association concerning the extension of the period of stay in Vietnam from 15 to 30 days and the expansion of visa exemption for more countries, among others.
Vietnam welcomed approximately 720,000 Western European visitors in 2015 and the number of visitors increased to 855,000 in 2016 and 1.5 million in 2017.