Vietnam’s free visa extension a boon for inbound recovery

Tourism players welcome Vietnam’s move to extend its free visa-on-arrival from 15 to 45 days for select countries, while extending e-visas from 30 to 90 days and allowing multiple entries.

The new rules took effect on August 15, with the increase in visa-free travel being an attempt to lure more visitors from 13 countries, including Japan, South Korea, the UK and Germany.

Vietnam hopes to attract more foreign visitors by extending its free visa-on-arrival from 15 to 45 days; Golden Bridge in Vietnam, pictured

Linh Le, principal and co-founder of Luxperia, noted an uptick in travellers extending the duration of their visit to an average of three-week itineraries. “For trips in September and beyond, I expect this trend will increase to higher average stays for Vietnam,” he added.

Pham Ha, CEO and founder of LuxGroup, which focuses mainly on middle- and high-end customers in Europe, including retirees with long-term travel needs, expects to see revenue increase by at least 30 per cent from September.

“Normally, our customers stay in Vietnam from 10 days to two weeks,” he said, adding they can now spend more time experiencing in-depth Vietnamese culture and exploring the landscapes.

He believes the visa extension will open the door for a wide range of tourists, especially digital nomads and long-term visitors.

“Since Covid-19, we can see the rapid development and importance of remote working. Extended visa periods offer more flexibility for those who want to stay long-term,” he said. “In addition, Vietnam offers thriving co-working spaces, affordable living costs and vibrant cities, which makes it an attractive destination for digital nomad tourists.”

Guilhem Cavaille, general manager at Diethelm Travel Vietnam, said the best aspect of the visa changes is that visitors can now exit the country and immediately return. Previously, they had to wait one month between two visas being issued.

“Multi-country travel is a rising trend and this facilitates things a lot,” he said. “When clients combine Vietnam and Cambodia or Vietnam and Laos, their international arrival and departure are often from Vietnam, therefore, they frequently need two entries into the country.”

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