The extension of the e-visa policy to a wide range of countries, plus important events held in Vietnam recently, have brought golden opportunities to attract more travellers.
The government has issued Decree 17 with some revisions to articles of Decree 07 on procedures to grant e-visas to foreigners to enter Vietnamese territory.
The decree, to be implemented on a trial basis for two years, has extended the list of the countries which can enjoy the e-visa. Australia, Portugal, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil and Mexico were included.
To date, Vietnam allows e-visa to citizens from 80 countries. Its air border gates, 16 road and 9 sea border gates are open to foreigners to enter and exit with e-visas.
According to Truong Thu Giang from Vietravel, the government’s decision to extend the e-visa policy to 34 more countries is a reasonable move in anticipation of strong tourism development.
“After the US-DPRK Summit in Hanoi, images of Vietnam have become better known to people in the world and the demand for travel to Vietnam will increase in the time to come,” Giang said.
The director of a Hanoi-based travel firm also noted that the second US-DPRK Summit and the splashy wedding ceremony of Indian billionaires held in Vietnam will give a push to the development of MICE (Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) tourism.
He said that an open visa policy will play an important role in attracting more foreign travellers because it creates the image of an open, dynamic Vietnam.
Reports all show a sharp rise in the numbers of travellers from West Europe, Japan and South Korea thanks to the e-visa policy.
Tu Quy Thanh, director of Travelink, has urged management agencies and travel firms to prepare thoroughly to receive foreign guests”.
“What Vietnam needs to do now is run tourism promotion campaigns, especially in key markets,” he said.
Tran Thi Bao Thu from Fiditour suggested that it would be better to build specific tourism products for different zones and localities.
Meanwhile, localities need to join forces to increase travellers’ experience and their time of stay in Vietnam.
Thu also stressed the necessity to upgrade infrastructure and exploit tourism service chains in order to be able to serve high numbers of travellers, an important requirement to develop MICE tourism that brings high revenue.
With the great advantages, Thanh affirmed that the target of receiving 18-20 million foreign travellers this year is within reach.