Foreign tourists take a coracle tour at Bay Mau nipa palm forest near Hoi An ancient town in central Vietnam, June 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Dac ThanhPrime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has ordered relevant agencies to better facilitate tourist entry and develop new tourism products to boost post-lockdown recovery in the travel sector.
The PM urged tourism and travel-related agencies to make it more convenient for tourists to enter, travel and stay in Vietnam. He asked that agencies involved in travel and tourism create favorable conditions for domestic and international airlines to open new direct routes connecting Vietnam to key tourism markets.
The PM told a meeting on post-Covid international tourism recovery Wednesday that infrastructure, logistics and human resources all needed to be improved upon to bolster Vietnam’s international competitiveness on the travel market.
He called on the tourism industry to develop new tourism products and improve price and service quality competitiveness.
“We need to create new products to provide tourists what they need, instead of only giving them what we have,” he said.
Policies to encourage tourism development, including relaxed visa and tax policies, will be considered by the government as ways to possibly boost tourism, Chinh added.
The PM called on the tourism industry to invest in promotion campaigns and mobilize all resources to develop travel infrastructure.
Vietnam was one of the first Southeast Asian countries to reopen to international tourism on March 15 after a period of pandemic lockdown.
However, the country’s tourism sector is lagging far behind several of Vietnam’s Southeast Asian neighbors. Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia have already achieved their annual tourism targets for this year.
But foreign tourist numbers to Vietnam are expected to reach only 3.5 million this year, around 70% of the country’s 2022 target of five million.
At the meeting, Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung proposed that the government consider granting e-visas to citizens of all countries and territories, instead of the current 80, to help boost foreign tourist numbers.
Hung urged the government to extend visa-free stays for foreign tourists to 30 days and to implement a visa-on-arrival granting process.