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Gov’t wants visa waiver for int’l tourists reinstated

By Dao Loan

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HCMC – The prime minister has urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reinstate the visa waiver for international travelers to revive the country’s pandemic-battered tourism sector when tourism services for local and foreign visitors are fully reopened on March 15.

In early 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government suspended unilateral and bilateral visa-free travel based on the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s proposal to help the country prevent the spread of Covid.

However, the change has failed to boost the international travel segment since the country welcomed back international tourists on a trial basis in late 2021.

Through the pilot program, the country welcomed a mere 9,000 foreign travelers in four months. One of the reasons leading to a modest number of international arrivals is the limited visa waiver, Tuoi Tre Online reported, citing some tourism experts.

To safely and flexibly adapt to Covid and stimulate inbound tours, the Government leader tasked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with weighing the reinstatement of the visa waiver.

Before Covid broke out in Vietnam, the country applied the unilateral visa waiver program for 13 countries and the bilateral visa-free program for 88 countries and territories.

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