Vietnam Permits Visa-Free Travel for Indians Following Thailand's Lead: What We Know

New Delhi: As travel enthusiasts await potential international exploration, Vietnam seems poised to open its doors to Indian visitors without the requirement of a visa. The country is contemplating the introduction of a visa waiver program aimed at bolstering tourist arrivals in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital. This move echoes recent actions taken by Thailand and Sri Lanka, both of which have implemented similar visa waiver programs for Indian travelers.

Initiative to Boost Tourism in Hanoi: Visa Waiver Program on the Horizon

Reports from VnExpress, a local news agency, indicate that Vietnam's Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, Nguyen Van Hung, is advocating for the implementation of short-term visa waivers for key markets like India and China. The objective is to stimulate tourism in the nation's capital and attract more visitors from these countries.

Countries Currently Eligible for Visa-Free Entry to Vietnam

Presently, several nations enjoy visa-free access to Vietnam. Among them are Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, and Finland.

Vietnam's Tourism Surge and Visa Changes

Vietnam has experienced a significant surge in international visitors, reaching nearly 10 million in the initial ten months of this year. This figure represents a 4.6-fold increase compared to the same period in 2022, surpassing the anticipated goal for 2023. The country began issuing e-visas for individuals from all countries and territories in mid-August, providing a 90-day duration with multiple entries. Visitors from 13 select countries can now stay for 45 days, tripling the previous allowed duration.

Similar Initiatives in Other Countries

Following Thailand's lead, Vietnam is considering a visa-free entry for Indian travelers. Thailand recently initiated a visa-free entry for Indian visitors, allowing a 30-day stay until May 10, 2024, with the possibility of extension based on demand. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka launched a visa-free scheme for visitors from seven countries, including India, Russia, and China. Commencing as a pilot project in October, this initiative will last until March 31 of the following year.

It appears that Vietnam, inspired by neighboring nations' successful visa waiver programs, is inclined to explore similar strategies to invigorate its tourism industry.

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