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Vietnam to Cut Visa Fees Next Month

In the wonderful world of Vietnamese tourist visas, the rules seem to change everyday. Whether it's permitting certain passport holders to enter the country visa-free or discussing whether to waive visa fees for other nationalities, something is always up for debate.

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Yesterday, however, some happy news arrived from Vietnamese officials. After much debate, the Ministry of Finance announced it will slash tourist visa fees in a bid to boost arrivals through the end of this year, reports Tuoi Tre.

Starting November 23, single-entry visas will cost US$25 instead of the current US$45, while multiple-entry visas with a validity of three months or less will drop from US$95 to US$50. Long-term visa costs will still range from US$95 to US$155 and vary from three months to five years. 

According to the Ministry of Finance's website, the decision is part of a push to reverse the slump in arrivals that has plagued Vietnam's tourism industry this year and marks a concerted effort by tourism officials to put Vietnamese visa fees on par with those of other countries in the region.

For everyone involved – tourists, tour providers and even tourism officials themselves – this is a welcome development, as the recent slew of visa exemptions hasn't exactly been successful. In the first nine months of 2015, international tourist arrivals reached a mere 5.7 million, down 5.9% from last year's arrivals. Here's hoping that the new, reduced visa fees will help get Vietnam's tourism numbers moving back in the right direction.

[Photo via Flickr user Jev55]