Visa issues, barriers to tourism in Vietnam

21, December, 2022

Visa issues, barriers to tourism in Vietnam

The goal of welcoming 5 million international visitors to Vietnam by 2022 failed. What are the reasons? Recommended stay for international guests up to 30 days. Vietnam visa procedures need changes

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism proposed the Government extend the stay for international visitors to 30 days and consider piloting visa issuance at the border.

On the morning of December 21, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh chaired a conference to promote international tourist attraction. The Prime Minister stated that, right after opening the economy, Vietnam opened the door to tourism, organized the 31st SEA Games... This policy is correct, domestic tourism has recovered strongly, the number of visitors exceeded the plan. go out. But international travel still has its bottlenecks.

"Due to the mechanism or method? Is it implemented by the organization or the ministries and sectors have not fulfilled their responsibilities? What have businesses done? Diversified markets, products and supply chains in the field of tourism Has the tourism product been innovative yet? Has digital transformation and green transformation been introduced into the tourism industry? Has the communication and promotion been worthy?", the Prime Minister asked a series of issues. .

According to the report of the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Van Hung, at the meeting, the tourism market gradually recovered, especially domestic tourists. Many places recorded a high increase in visitors. Travel businesses return to the market, opening more services. More than 90% of tourist accommodation establishments nationwide have returned to normal operations. In the summer, the capacity of hotel rooms in some places such as Ha Long, Sa Pa, Quy Nhon, Phu Quoc... reaches more than 95%.

But one of the challenges for Vietnam is that most of the Northeast Asian market (accounting for 70% of international visitors to Vietnam) still applies many anti-Covid-19 measures. China has not yet opened up to international tourism, and the Russia-Ukraine military conflict affects the resumption of Vietnam-Russia flight routes, affecting the source of Russian tourists.

Many countries compete to attract international visitors with visa-free policies such as Malaysia, Singapore exempting 162 countries, the Philippines exempting 157 countries, Thailand 65 countries and Vietnam only exempting 24 countries. The visa exemption period of many ASEAN countries ranges from 30 days to 45 days, even 90 days. According to Mr. Hung, the 15-day visa-free period for visitors to Vietnam is "very short compared to other countries in the region, not suitable for the long-term tourism needs of international visitors, especially in markets as far away as Europe." Europe, usually 3-4 weeks".

To promote international tourism to Vietnam, Mr. Hung proposed to apply e-visa for all visitor markets and continue to simplify issuance procedures and enhance technology application. He also proposed to extend the stay period for international visitors to Vietnam from 15 days to 30 days, create favorable conditions for them to enter Vietnam, and consider piloting the issuance of visas at border gates.

The main tourist product lines such as sea and islands, culture, ecology... will focus on renewing. Facilities serving the special requirements of some potential groups of guests such as Muslims, Hindus, vegetarians... need to be consolidated soon. In addition, Mr. Hung suggested extending the electricity price reduction policy for tourism businesses. From 2023, agencies to adjust electricity prices applied to tourist accommodation establishments are equal to the price of electricity produced in the spirit of the Politburo's Resolution on developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector. Tourism human resources should be focused on development; attracting people who used to work in the field of tourism to quit and change jobs again; focus on improving expertise and foreign languages.

Vietnam opened to tourism from March 15, before many countries in the region, and at the same time restored the policy of visa exemption and entry and exit; stop making medical declarations for people on entry from April; No pre-entry Covid-19 test from May.

Airlines have opened many new international routes, Vietjet Air has opened 22 more international routes; Bamboo Airways is operating 25 routes; Vietnam Airlines has reopened all international routes compared to the time before the epidemic except Moscow (Russia), Rangoon (Myanmar), opened more routes to San Fransisco (USA) and India.

Domestic flight routes to some key tourist destinations such as Phu Quoc, Da Nang, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang... are increasing, with dozens of flights per day. The remaining routes such as Ho Chi Minh City/Hanoi to Da Nang, Nha Trang, Quy Nhon... fares in the summer season increased by more than 20% compared to the previous months.

However, the number of international visitors to Vietnam is still limited. In 2022, Vietnam will receive about 3.5 million arrivals, equal to 70% of the set target. Domestic visitors reached 101 million arrivals, one and a half times higher than the plan. Total revenue from tourists reached VND 495,000 billion, exceeding 23% of the plan.