Terms for visitors from five European countries extended from one to five years.
The visa-free period for citizens from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy will be extended from one year to five years, under a proposal from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.
The period for visitors from other western EU countries will be extended from 15 to 30 days.
The Ministry will also continue to propose visa-free periods for other countries that are key tourism markets for Vietnam as well as the issuing of visas at national border gates and electronic visas.
Figures from the General Statistics Office show that tourist numbers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy increased in the third quarter of 2015, the fourth quarter of 2015, and the first quarter of 2016 by 4.24 per cent, 16.49 per cent and 20 per cent year-on-year, respectively.
In the 2010-2014 period total tourist numbers from the five countries grew some 5.35 per cent per year. After the introduction of visa-free travel they increased by 13.91 per cent from July 2015 to March 2016.
The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said that average spending by tourists from the five countries was $1,316 per person. The increase in tourist numbers therefore brought in an estimated additional $55 million directly and $116 million indirectly.