Although Vietnam has reopened tourism and the Vietnam visa policy is more open to some markets, but leaders of many businesses still lament that if not fully opened, Vietnam still counts each guest.
From March 15, 2022, in addition to unilateral visa exemption for citizens of 13 countries, bilaterally with 88 countries and territories, an electronic visa (e-visa) is also officially granted by Vietnam after 2 years due to Covid-19.
Citizens of 80 countries coming to Vietnam, regardless of purposes such as tourism, commercial investment, visiting relatives, working, getting married,... and staying for no more than 30 days, can apply for a Vietnam visa.(e-visa).
However, some Vietnam travel companies said that applying for a visa is still very difficult, especially for retail customers in applying for an e-visa.
Vivutravel said that although we have announced the full opening safe, but the current bottleneck is still visas, especially for retail customers. Not all guests can apply for a visa, in many cases a guarantee is required. Meanwhile, some businesses do not have this service, so guests have to "swim by themselves", which is not easy.
With international delegations, Vietnam currently has not received large groups because the international tourist season is usually from September to April. Therefore, it is really a problem to guarantee a booking because Vietnam travel businesses do not know whether it is possible to get visas or not.
Vietnam's visa policy is now reducing the direct competitiveness of Vietnam's tourism compared to ASEAN countries.
If most countries in the region have applied a visa-free policy for international visitors to enter from 30 days, then Vietnam is one of the very few Southeast Asian countries that still requires a visa for most of them. tourists. Vietnam Visa exemption application time is very short, only 15-50% compared to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia...
Regarding e-visa, many countries with competitive tourism such as Thailand or Singapore have applied with low fees, open procedures on electronic platforms. Meanwhile, the cost of tourist visas issued on entry at Vietnam's border gates is nearly double that of other countries such as Cambodia, Laos or Indonesia.
Not to mention, information about applying for a visa to enter Vietnam is rarely aggregated publicly and clearly on any official portal, causing great limitations in transparency and openness to attract international visitors.
In order to promote Vietnam's tourism, the first thing is the issue of entry visa. Vietnam tourism has opened, but if the door is closed, no one can enter. Vietnam exempts visas for citizens of 13 countries, but looking at Thailand, Indonesia has exempted 130 countries.
With current visa issues, Vietnam is still counting each guest entering at the airport and it costs a lot to promote. Therefore, the real opening, in which the focus is on visa policy, will be fully open, not only welcoming tourists but also business visitors, commercial activities, import and export into Vietnam.
Although, Vietnam has opened visas as before the epidemic, but will only welcome 25-30% of visitors. So, it is necessary to expand the visa-free policy to more countries.