Vietnam

PM urges more countries to be visa-free

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The prime minister called for visa policy revisions, increasing the number of visa-free countries, extending the permitted period of stay and expanding e-visas.

On March 15, 2023, a year after Vietnam officially reopened to tourism following the Covid-19 pandemic, an online conference on tourism to 2023 was hosted by Prime Minister Pham Minh Trung.

The Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism reported that the number of domestic tourists in Vietnam will surge to 101 million tourists in 2022, which is 50% higher than the target of 60 million tourists and much higher than the 85 million tourists in 2019, thus bringing up to 495 trillion Vietnamese tourists. Shield income.

However, the number of foreign tourists visiting Vietnam was only 3.7 million, a sharp drop of 80% compared to 2019, and only 70% of the plan was completed.

Although Vietnam has resumed almost all international routes, due to the low number of international passengers, the passenger load factor of Vietnam Airlines is only 60% to 64%.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung cited several reasons for the decrease in the number of foreign tourists.

First, tour companies in Vietnam rely on traditional markets, which have yet to reopen due to the pandemic. Vietnam has been slow to promote, publicize and disseminate information about Vietnam tourism.

Second, the visa policy has improved, but it has not changed much compared with its regional competitors.

The third is that tourism products cannot keep up with the world trend.

Fourth, Vietnam’s tourism industry lacks talents, especially those with high quality and experience.

Fifth, linkages between regions and localities are still not effective enough.

At the meeting, IPP Group President Johnathan Hanh Nguyen emphasized the importance of the tourism value chain that Vietnam lacks.

This model includes transportation, accommodation, catering, creative technology, tourism resources, entertainment, shopping and other services.

In order to develop the tourism value chain model, the state will play an important role in coordinating and promoting the joint development of relevant parties.

The businessman suggested launching a similar campaign in 2022 to help Thailand welcome 11 million foreign tourists.

Vietnam needs to find a solution to increase tourist numbers and tourist spending, he said.

Nguyen Thi Nga, president of BRG Group, believes that more measures should be taken targeting international travelers who have high affordability and want to stay longer in Vietnam.

An operator of many high-end hotels and resorts, Nga said BRG’s main customers are high-income earners who spend 2-3 times more than many foreign tourists in Vietnam. Their payout is $200-300 per day.

She pointed out that Vietnam has never seen so many tourists to play golf in Vietnam before, and affirmed that the potential of Vietnam is huge because Vietnam is recognized as the best place to play golf in the world.

visa policy

All travel companies said the improved visa policy would help attract more foreign tourists.

Dang Minh Truong, president of Sun Group, said that while visa policies have improved, more policies are still needed or Vietnam will lag behind in attracting foreign tourists.

Thailand is Vietnam’s tourism rival. In 2019, Vietnam received 18 million tourists and Thailand received 40 million tourists. Vietnam has set a modest target of 8 million for 2023, while Thailand plans to receive 25 million.

According to MCST, Vietnam aims to receive 35 million tourists by 2030, and Thailand aims to receive 80 million tourists by 2027.

Prime Minister Chinh pointed out the need to look at the situation realistically, emphasizing that it is not easy to attract 47-50 million foreign tourists by 2030, making tourism account for 14-15% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and service industry to increase the proportion of GDP to 50%.

The Prime Minister asked ministries to update, revise and supplement policies and regulations to help attract domestic and foreign tourists, and develop breakthrough solutions based on Vietnam’s special advantages to develop tourism.

Thursday line

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