Britons among the new list of nationals to enjoy visa free travel to the Vietnam
Vietnam has approved a visa exemption policy for five European countries including Britain. Officials are hoping that the relaxed rules will encourage more holidaymakers from key European markets book holidays in Vietnam. Tensions with China, the largest source market for Vietnam, and a drop in arrivals from Russia have led to a decline in the number of foreign arrivals to Vietnam.
Vietnam has relaxed its visitor visa requirements for citizens of Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain making travel to the Southeast Asia destination hassle free for citizens of these countries.
Under the new rules, which took effect on the 1st July 2015, citizens of these five European countries will not be required to have a visitor's visa for trips up to a maximum of 15 days. Various stakeholders in Vietnam's tourism sector spoke out in favour of the decision.
Nguyen Van Tuan, Vietnam's director of tourism administration stated:
"The decision will delight the country's tourism sector and visitors from these countries". Hoang Le Quyen of PeaceTours in Ho Chi Minh City echoed Nguyen's positive sentiments stating, "this is very good news. It will definitely help bring foreign tourists to Vietnam."
Previously, visitors from nine countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, four Nordic countries, Russia, Belarus, Japan and South Korea benefitted from a reciprocal exemption. The expansion of the list of visa exempt countries comes as Vietnam looks to revive its flailing tourism industry.
Since mid 2014, Vietnam has been negatively affected by a decline in visitors from China following escalated tensions linked to a territorial dispute over the Paracel Islands. Additionally, arrivals from Russia have also plummeted since the last quarter of 2014 as a result of a devaluation of the Russian Ruble. According to recent statistics released by the General Statistics Office, the total number of foreign arrivals to Vietnam in H1 2015 dropped by 11.3 per cent when compared to the same period in 2014.
Vietnam is not the only country to extend its visa waiver programme to new markets in recent months. Indonesia utilised a similar strategy in June 2015 by extending visa exemptions to a list of countries including the US, Canada, China, Japan, Italy and Germany. Both Vietnam and Indonesia have recognised that while visa fees are source of income, the potential gains of increased arrivals are likely to be greater.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Vietnam Browse all
A fantastic value trip, exploring Vietnam's most iconic cities and natural wonders with added downtime to relax on the beach
- English-speaking guides and entrance fees included
- Extend your holiday with a break in Cambodia or on the beaches of Phu Quoc
- Day cruise on Halong Bay with lunch included
Get under the skin of Vietnam with an adventurous tour taking in the classic sights as well as getting off the beaten track
- Overnight train to Sapa - hike through the hills and meet remote communities
- Overnight cruise down the Mekong River on a converted rice barge with all modern amenities
- Spend the night in Halong Bay and see the sun rise over the remarkable karst landscape (includes meals)
Experience all the natural beauty and cultural variety of Vietnam on a deluxe tour
- Five-star hotels throughout
- Overnight Halong Bay cruise on a traditionally designed junk boat with meals included
- Time to relax on the stunning beaches of central Vietnam
Experience the best of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure through Indochina
- Expert local guides in each country
- Breakfast included daily and three dinners
- Spend the night on Halong Bay on a traditional Junk boat with meals included
Exotic and compelling, Vietnam is one of the most remarkable travel destinations in the world. Take in all the classics...
Wander from exciting cities to astonishing scenic beauty via peaceful beaches and the best preserved old towns in...
Discover the beauty and unique heritage of Vietnam with this incredible tour across some of its most famous sites and...
See all the most iconic sights of Indochina on this trip of a lifetime through Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. Explore the...
The Merperle Sea Sun hotel is set in the heart of the picturesque seaside city, Nha Trang. Surrounded on all three...