Transit passengers will soon be able to stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days instead of the current five days, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The regulation will take effect from August 14.

Foreign passengers on connection flights or transit at international seaports will have to have their application for tourist visas arranged by travel agents in advance if they plan to enter Vietnam .

The application process will take no more than one working day, the Immigration Department has affirmed.

Transit tourist visas will cost only 5 USD, much more economical than tourist visas, which range from 25 to 120 USD.

The chairman of the Vietnam Travel Association, Vu The Binh, said that the decision would attract more transit tourists to the country.

"Transit tourists mainly enter the country at several of its sea ports instead of only just one, which is the reason it usually takes them more than 5 days [the current limit] to visit Vietnam ," Binh said.

"The new regulation will create favourable conditions for transit tourists," he added

Michael Young, from England , said that he would consider breaking up his flight from London to Sydney later this year to spend a couple of days in Vietnam due to the new regulations.

"Fifteen days will make a decent visit, I guess," he said.

Binh said that when Vietnam finally had air entry ports (which Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCM City is aiming to become), the country's tourism would benefit a lot from the extension.

Up to date, Vietnam has received very few transit tourists./.