|Foreign tourists take a cyclo tour of the ancient town of Hoi An in Quang Nam province. (Photo: Huu Trung)
Vietnam has strong tourism potential: 8 tangible and 15 intangible heritages, 11 world biosphere reserves, and 10 heritage parks that have been accredited by UNESCO.
But its tourism recovery and development remains slow. One of the hindrances is Vietnam’s 30-day e-visa.
Pham Ha, CEO and founder of Luxury Travel, said, as usual, tourists who are exempted from visas can stay in Vietnam only for 15 days while Western Europeans usually go on vacation for more than 15 days.
“When they come to Vietnam, they don’t need a visa. But when they go to Cambodia and return to Vietnam, they have to apply for a visa or for a one-month visa that allows them to enter and exit multiple times,” said Ha.
To make it more convenient for foreign tourists, the Government has asked the National Assembly to approve the issuance of e-visas to citizens of all countries and territories and extend the time limit for temporary residence cards granted to people entering Vietnam at border gates from 15 days to 45 days.
The proposed e-visa would be valid one time or multiple times for a maximum of 90 days rather than 30 days.
If the proposal is approved by the National Assembly in May, it will help attract more foreign tourists to Vietnam, according to Tran Trong Kien, Chairman of the National Tourism Advisory Council.
“I believe that if we can simplify the visa procedures and extend the validity of tourist visas, it will untangle a knot in the tourism sector. Visitors will stay longer and spend more,” said Kien.
Travel businesses look for high-spending tourists who often stay for a couple of weeks.
Le Hong Thai, Director of the Hanoitourists travel agency, said, “In the past, visitors from the UK only booked tours of 10 to 12 days in Vietnam. Now they’re requesting 19-to-20-day tours and then connecting to other destinations.”
To make Vietnam the first choice of tourists, its tourism products need to be more diverse to meet visitors’ needs and need to be better advertised.
|Vu The Binh, Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association (Photo: baodautu.vn)
Vu The Binh, Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, called on all state media and businesses to participate in tourism promotion.
“In addition to official channels, social networks and the webpages of businesses and their partners should spread the information quickly to foreign tourists,” said Binh.