In an effort to enhance the tourism industry, Vietnam is currently contemplating the possibility of granting visa-free entry to both Indian and Chinese nationals.
During a conference presided over by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on Wednesday, it was proposed that visa requirements be waived not only for Indians and Chinese but also for visitors from affluent nations, including Australia, Canada, the United States, and the remaining 20 members of the 27-member European Union, as reported by VnExpress last week.
Following in the footsteps of Thailand and Sri Lanka, Vietnam is now exploring the option of allowing visa-free travel for Indian tourists. Local reports indicate that the Vietnamese Tourism Minister is advocating for a temporary visa waiver specifically for Indian visitors.
Vietnamese Minister for Culture, Sports, and Tourism, Nguyen Van Hung, has called for a short-term visa exemption for both Indian and Chinese nationals as part of an initiative to stimulate tourism.
Tourists from Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden within the European Union enjoy visa-free entry into Vietnam. The proposed plan aims to expand this privilege to include India and China in the near future.
According to available data, Vietnam presently grants visa-free travel to visitors from 25 countries. As of October 2023, the country has welcomed over 10 million foreign tourists.
For other countries, Vietnam is providing e-visas with a validity period of 90 days and the flexibility of multiple entries for individuals from all nations. The potential implementation of this visa-free entry policy would position Vietnam alongside Sri Lanka and Thailand as one of the select few countries extending such convenience to Indian travellers.
The Cabinet of Sri Lanka has given its approval for the issuance of complimentary visas to individuals from India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand as part of a pilot project, effective until March 31, 2024.
“Cabinet approves issuing of free visas to India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Thailand with immediate effect as a pilot project till 31 March,” announced Sabry on X.
Additionally, Thailand, last month, declared that it would permit visa-free entry for tourists from India and Taiwan for a duration of six months, starting from November 10 this year until May 10, 2024.
Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavision stated, “We will provide visa-free entry to India and Taiwan because a lot of their people like to travel to Thailand,” as reported by news agency AFP.
These countries, including India, China, Russia, Malaysia, Japan, and Indonesia, are the focus of this initiative, designed to attract a higher number of tourists to the island nation. The Sri Lankan tourist ministry expressed optimism, stating, “We are expecting to increase tourist arrivals to five million over the coming years,” according to local media outlets.