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Vietnam May Waive Visas For 19 More Countries But Who Knows

In this week's installment of visa-related news, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) is discussing the possibility of waiving visas for 19 more countries in an end-of-year push to raise tourism numbers in 2015.

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According to Thanh Nien, VNAT is keen to boost tourism arrivals from the current 5.7 million to as many as 8 million by the end of December.

If you recall, Vietnam has already waived visas for several other countries so far, most recently Germany, Italy, Spain, France, Belarus and the UK. 

Nguyen Van Tuan, director of VNAT, believes these exemptions have helped to boost tourism numbers. However, there is more to be done if Vietnam is to continue its upward climb in the tourism industry. Others have been slightly more critical of the current waivers, suggesting that the two-week visa exemption is too short to benefit most long-distance visitors.

For the moment, there is no concrete information regarding which nations would potentially be exempt, nor of the potential time frame during which this would be enacted, however recent data shows that some of the visa waivers previously approved by Vietnam are beginning to pay off. Though overall tourism numbers are down this year, arrivals have been on the rebound since July, when foreign visitors increased for the first time in 13 months.

Beyond visa waivers, VNAT also plans to launch more promotional materials in an effort to attract tourists, Tuan tells Thanh Nien. The government's most recent tourism video, for instance, was considered a success by some but not enough to sell the rest of the world on a trip to Vietnam.

Right now, these additional visa waivers are nothing more than talk, but new exemptions may help to attract more visitors to the country. Until such time as there are concrete details on the matter, however, it's anyone's guess.

[Photo via Vietnam Xplorer]

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