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Khanh Hoa Official Proposes Visa Exemptions for Foreign Tourists

Officials are looking for ways to boost tourism as Vietnam slowly begins to re-open.

VnExpress reports that Lê Hữu Hoàng, vice chairman of the Khanh Hoa People's Committee, has proposed allowing for visa exemptions for foreign tourists arriving under Vietnam's vaccine passport plan.

Khanh Hoa is one of five provinces and cities which have been approved to welcome international visitors for the first time since March 2020, though guests must follow pre-approved itineraries. This limits the appeal of visiting Vietnam under the vaccine passport program, while Hoàng argues that some guests — especially those from Europe and Russia — prefer longer trips to the country.

Khanh Hoa aims to receive over 9,000 tourists from various countries by the end of 2021, and welcomed its first tourist flights from South Korea and Japan on November 11. Kien Giang and Quang Nam, specifically Phu Quoc and Hoi An, also saw the arrival of their first foreign tourists in almost two years last week. On Monday, about 40 tourists visited My Son, the UNESCO heritage site outside of Hoi An.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, visa waivers were offered to citizens of 24 countries and territories, including the other members of ASEAN.

Up until early 2020, tourism had been experiencing record annual growth in Vietnam, but the pandemic largely wiped out the international tourism sector, while domestic tourism has struggled over the last six months during the ongoing national outbreak. 

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