Vietnam needs to extend further visa exemption policy for tourists

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Vietnam needs to extend further visa exemption policy for foreign tourists to attract more foreign visitors coming back.
Photo: BAOKHANHHOA.VN/VIET NAM NEWS

Vietnam should extend visa exemption policies for foreign tourists to encourage more visitors to return, say, tourism insiders.

Federal Travel Company director-general Tu Quy Thanh said foreign tourists who receive visa exemptions are currently allowed to stay in Vietnam for only 15 days, less than the average time they often want to stay.

He says the visa exemption policy would need to be applied for up to 30 days like other countries because many tourists travel from the west, and 15 days is not long enough to stay here.

According to tourism companies, the visa policy should be reformed to create better conditions for tourists.

Luxury Travel Company founder and CEO Pham Ha said tourists staying longer would spend more and boost the economy.

He believed the state should increase the amount of time they are allowed to visit without a visa, making Vietnam more competitive with neighbouring countries.

At the midterm Vietnam Business Forum 2019 last month, the tourism working group proposed exemption policies, adding that Vietnam must compete with many countries in attracting foreign visitors, especially with Southeast Asian nations.

According to travel companies, many potential markets need to be exempt from visas to stimulate tourism, including large markets who spend big and stay longer, such as Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, India, and the EU.

They also are member countries of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

But many who work in the sector think as well as improving visa conditions, products need investment to encourage people to stay longer and come back.

Vietravel Tourism Company director-general Nguyen Quoc Ky said international visitors had a longer average stay than to some ASEAN countries but spend less.

Foreign visitors stay in Vietnam on average 9.5 days, spending $96 per person, while they stay on average only 3.4 days in Singapore, spending $325 and 9.5 days in Thailand, spending $163.

That is due to Vietnam not having many tourism products and programmes to stimulate spending.

Read the full article at The Phnom Penh Post: https://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/vietnam-needs-extend-further-visa-exemption-policy-tourists

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