As part of the ‘winter sale’ - not that all of Vietnam actually has a winter - prices for all other visas will be reduced. A three-month multiple-entry visa will now cost US$50, down from US$95, while fees for visas with longer terms will range from US$95 to US$155 - their validity will be up to five years.
According to Tuoi Tre Newspaper, an unnamed official from the Ministry of Finance has told them that the new regulations are aimed at supporting tourism and bringing Vietnamese visa fees on par with other countries in the region - namely Cambodia and Laos.
Visas and the varying fees paid for them have long been an issue in Vietnam, in particular for the many thousands of foreign workers in the country who due to unclear and often insurmountable regulations, are unable to obtain a work permit.
The present change, however, is aimed at the tourism industry. According to official data, foreign arrivals to Vietnam were only 626,000 in September, down 5.8 percent from August. Even though that figure was up 8.3 percent from September last year, the overall number of foreign arrivals for the first nine months of 2015 dropped 5.9 percent, to nearly 5.7 million.
The existing 15-day visa free entry for nationals from the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain also doesn’t seem to have helped. Tourists who in the past would have spent a whole month in Vietnam, now only have 15 days, thus missing out many of the non-major tourist sites such as Phong Nha, Hue, Mai Chau and Con Dao. For them to then return to Vietnam based on their visa-free entry to the country, they then have to wait 30 days or convert their visa-free entry into a multiple entry visa while they are in Vietnam.
To read the original article on Thanh Nien, please click here: http://www.thanhniennews.com/travel/vietnam-slashes-visa-fees-in-bid-to-boost-tourism-52402.html