Tourism firms complain as Vietnam increases visa fees 5-fold for US visitors

The Vietnam Tourism Association said it would complain to the government about a recent hike in visa fees by more than five times for US nationals.
On August 29 Vietnam began to issue one-year, multiple-entry visas to US citizens for US$135, up from single-entry visas that cost only $5 for cruise tourists and $25 for others.

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Vu The Binh, the association’s vice chairman, said many tourism firms are suffering as a result of the hike.

“Many groups of visitors from the US to Vietnam are being hindered by the new regulation… Most tourists want a single visit for a short time. They do not need the new visa with much higher fee,” The Saigon Times quoted him as saying.

The multiple-entry visa policy has been bilaterally agreed to.

Many tourism firms said they were not informed in advance about the new policy and have not received official documents about it.

“We can’t inform our partners that the visa fee has been increased without any document. Tourists will surely react when told to pay more money,” Phan Xuan Anh, chairman of Viet Excursions travel firm, said.

The US is one of Vietnam’s major sources of tourists, with 386,000 people coming so far this year, nearly 15 percent up from last year.

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