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Visa policy change needed to further attract foreign visitors: tourism authority

A key for Vietnam to attract more foreign tourists at this time is to change its visa policy, said Chris Farewell, a member of the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB).


Chris told Dau tu ( Vietnam Investment Review) that expanding the list of eligible visa waivers with a maximum stay of up to 30-45 days will be a big drive for foreigners who are planning a trip to Vietnam.

TAB also proposed that e-visa should be expanded to all countries and domain name changed so that foreigners can recognise and find more easily when surfing the internet, he said.

While Thailand offers visa exemption to citizens from 65 countries and territories with a stay of 30-45 days or even up to 90 days in some cases, Vietnam has not introduced any travelling incentives for visitors after reopening its border in March last year.

Resuming tourism activities earlier than Thailand, yet the country’s complicated administrative procedures reduce its attractions, he said.

Tourists usually complain that they find difficulties in applying for a visa at Vietnam’s embassies. In other cases, they said that they are offered to get the visa quickly with 200-500 USD while a formal fee is just 25 USD.

Vu The Binh, chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said that authorities and agencies must closely work together to harmonise the administrative process.

It should be done as quickly as possible because tourists can change their decision easily, he said.  

Last year, Vietnam only received 3.6 million foreign tourists, just 70% of its target. It targets 8 million for this year.

Currently, citizens of 80 countries and territories can apply for an e-visa to enter Vietnam without going through a guarantor agency or organisation. added.

Many foreign tourists hope Vietnam will bring back the multiple three-month visa that was available before the pandemic.

TAB comprises representatives from a broad base of industry leaders and stakeholders in Vietnam’s travel and tourism sector. All stakeholders are working together to support international tourism promotions in Vietnam's key markets./