Vietnamese immigration officials have made it easier for American tourists to acquire visas with the introduction of an electronic visa system.
American tourists, along with 39 other nationalities, can now apply for 30-day single-entry visas for a fee of $25.
Starting in August last year, Vietnam began offering U.S. citizens multiple-entry one-year visas at a whopping fee of $135, rather than $25 for a single-entry visa as before.
The one-year, multiple-entry visa policy is in accordance with a mutual agreement between the two countries intended to attract more tourists to Vietnam.
Vietnam restored the short-stay visa option for U.S. citizens after a request from the U.S. itself, which said it did not conflict with the above agreement.
“This change is exactly what U.S. travelers want because they usually just come to Vietnam on one-week tours and then move on to other countries,” Director of Viet Excursions Phan Xuan Anh told Saigon Times.
Vietnam attracted 552,000 U.S. travelers last year, 12.5 percent higher than the year before, accounting for more than 5 percent of the country’s total international arrivals, government statistics show.
Tourism revenue contributes around 6 percent to Vietnam’s gross domestic product and the government is determined to further expand this sector.
From February 1 this year, nationals from 40 countries have been able apply for e-visas to visit Vietnam.
Last year, Vietnam also extended visa exemptions with single-entry visits to citizens of Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom, and eased its visa policy for Chinese nationals.