Visa waiver for 5 European countries urged to be extended hinh anh 1Foreign tourists visit Ben Thanh Market in HCM City (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) - The HCM City Tourism Association has asked the Government to extend the visa waiver for tourists from five Western European countries -- France, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Spain.

The visa waiver programme for the five countries will end next month, Nguyen Thi Khanh, vice chairwoman of the association, said.

But it should be extended by five years to June 30, 2022, she said.

The visa-free policy should be for five years instead of one to enable travel firms to organise promotion and marketing campaigns in the five markets, she told a meeting with the city People’s Council on May 23.

Besides, the maximum stay per entry for these tourists should be doubled to 30 days, she said.

The longer stay would be of help to tourists besides boosting their spending in the country, she said.

Neighbouring countries have simplified their visa procedures to attract more international visitors, she added.

The number of tourists from the five countries rose by 12 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to more than 240,000, according to statistics released by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.-VNA