ROK to issue e-visas for Vietnam tourists

The Republic of Korea will loosen visa requirements and issue e-visas for Vietnamese visitors as the number of Vietnamese tourists to the Northeast Asian nation is growing significantly.

Le Thi Thu Trang, marketing director of the Korea Tourism Organization in Vietnam, said 303,000 Vietnamese have visited the ROK so far this year and the number may reach 330,000 at the end of this year, up by 90,000 over last year.

The ROK will grant e-visas for buyers of incentive tours, allow more companies to carry out e-visa procedures and offer tourists a visa-free stay in Seoul for five days if they travel to Jeju island previously.

Trang told the Daily on November 15 that Vietnam ranks sixth among the ROK’s biggest source markets. New policies are expected to be adopted next year to further expand the market.

In July, the ROK accredited 35 travel companies in Vietnam, meaning Vietnamese tourists visiting the ROK via these firms could get visas faster. Normally it takes eight days to apply for a visa, but guests of the 35 accredited firms need three days for incentive tours and five days for normal tours.

Last year, more than 240,000 Vietnamese tourists visited the ROK, a year-on-year increase of 58%.

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