Việt Nam’s tourism ministry seeks to restore visa exemption, welcome back foreign tourists via sea, road

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Foreign tourists at a theme park on Phú Quốc Island, Kiên Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is planning to welcome back international tourists via sea route and roads, after piloting the “vaccine passport” programme on the air route, according to a proposal document sent to the Government.

According to the ministry, three out of the five localities included in the first phase of the pilot programme, namely Kiên Giang, Quảng Nam and Khánh Hoà, have reopened to foreign visitors, receiving 204, 159, and 816 visitors respectively.

Towards the end of the year, another 11,000 tourists will come to Khánh Hoà and 3,500 will arrive at Kiên Giang.

Meanwhile, Đà Nẵng City and Quảng Ninh Province are scheduled to receive international tourists next month, the same time regular flights from and to certain destinations are resumed.

The ministry reported that the first phase of the programme was rolled out in line with COVID-19 prevention and control measures, with the quality of services ensured.

Foreign holidaymakers have shown a positive response to Việt Nam tours, as well as their confidence in pandemic prevention and control measures taken by the country.

HCM City and the south-central province of Bình Định are expected to join the second phase that will kick off next month. Other localities should propose the resumption once they satisfy necessary requirements, the ministry said.

The ministry has also proposed the Prime Minister consider restoring visa exemption for tourists from a number of countries prior to when Việt Nam closed off its border for foreign tourists in March 2020, for example, traditional markets like South Korea, Japan or Russia, or people who stay in Việt Nam for less than 15 days.

Vietnamese studying and living abroad with Vietnamese passports, and Vietnamese holding US green cards or permanent residence cards in certain countries should be allowed to join the pilot programme, it said.

Việt Nam’s tourism market will fully open to international tourists in the last phase, the starting time of which will be based on the pandemic evaluation of the two previous phases. — VNS

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