The visa policies of Vietnam and Indonesia, key countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN ), are greatly divergent with respect to foreign tourists’ visits . While Vietnam seeks to attract as many tourists as possible to boost its economy, Indonesia focuses on improving the quality of tourism while maintaining social order.

Vietnam, visa-free 15 days → 45 days

According to VN Express and others on the 25th , the National Assembly of Vietnam held a plenary session the day before and passed an amendment to the Law on Foreigners’ Immigration, Transit and Residence, which extends the validity period of electronic visas ( e-visa ) for foreigners from the current 30 days to 90 days. The visa-free period of stay for nationals from visa-exempt countries will also increase from 15 days to 45 days. The amendment will come into effect on August 15 this year.

Vietnam, a socialist country, has operated a conservative visa policy compared to other ASEAN countries. Only 25 countries, including South Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom, allow visa waivers. Compared to Southeast Asian countries competing for tourism income, such as Thailand (68 countries), the Philippines (157 countries), Malaysia and Singapore (162 countries), the scale is remarkably small.

In the Vietnamese tourism industry, criticism continued that “the rigid visa policy is an obstacle to the development of the industry.” In fact, the number of foreign tourists who visited Vietnam last year was only 3.67 million, or 70% of the target (5 million). As pent-up global tourism demand exploded, Thailand and Malaysia attracted 11 million and 9 million tourists, respectively.

A red light was also turned on in the economy. In 2019, right before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumption by foreign tourists accounted for two-thirds of Vietnam’s total tourism revenue. This means that foreigners have actually supported the tourism industry.

In other words, Vietnam saw that it was inevitable to ease its visa policy to attract foreign tourists. The Central Committee of Vietnam’s National Assembly explained that “the move will help attract more foreign travelers and increase competitiveness over other countries in the region.”

Indonesia suspends visa-free entry to 159 countries

Neighbor Indonesia took the opposite path토토사이트. Indonesia’s Ministry of Justice announced on the 7th of this month that it would temporarily suspend visa-free entry for 159 countries, excluding nine ASEAN member states. At the same time, he cited “public order disruption and the possibility of disease transmission” as the reason.

Indonesia is suffering from the insolence of tourists. In Bali, the largest tourist destination called the ‘Island of Heaven’, the government started distributing etiquette guides for tourists as foreigners walked around religious sites naked or climbed and descended trees and buildings that locals considered sacred.

In addition, incidents and accidents such as riding motorcycles without wearing helmets, trading illegal drugs or drugs at clubs, and committing crimes while staying illegally after entering the country with a visa have not ceased. According to the Jakarta Post, 129 foreign tourists have been deported from Indonesia this year. The local Antara news agency said, “The visa-free policy has affected the lives of Indonesian people by causing public order confusion.”

In other words, Indonesia has significantly raised the entry threshold for social stability. Some are concerned that the stricter entry method will adversely affect the tourism industry and the national economy. However, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandia Ga Uno continues to take a tough stance, saying, “It will rather improve the quality of tourism.”

The Indonesian government did not specify a deadline for suspending visa-free entry. Citizens of countries that have been able to enter Indonesia without a visa for 30 days, including Korea, must pay a visa fee and obtain a visa on arrival or an electronic visa.

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