Hanoi, Aug 10 (IANS) Vietnam is working on a scheme to grant electronic visas for foreign visitors from next year, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said.
The government had allocated some 200 billion Vietnamese dong ($8.97 million) to speed up the implementation of the scheme so that the e-visa system can be launched on January 1 next year, Xinhua news agency quoted Phuc as saying on Tuesday.
The move aims to attract more tourists and boost the domestic tourism industry.
Phuc asked the ministries of finance, public security and foreign affairs to define e-visa fees and ensure that foreign tourists are warmly welcomed in the country.
The e-visas will be issued to applicants in a printer-friendly email after they fill out an online application form.
This system, it is believed, will further speed up the entire visa process, according to Kenneth Atkinson, chairman of the Tourism Working Group under the Vietnam Business Forum.
Currently, a Vietnamese tourist visa can be obtained upon arrival at the country’s international airports where tourists have to wait in long queues, or through Vietnamese embassies or consulates.
Last month, in an attempt to attract more visitors, Vietnam renewed the 15-day visa waiver policy for citizens of Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy for another year.
By 2020, Vietnam targets to attract 10 million to 10.5 million international visitors with tourism revenue reaching $18 billion to $19 billion each year.