At the 2nd Vietnam Private Sector Forum (VPSF), which was held in the morning of July 31st in Hanoi, Nguyen Quoc Ky - General Director of Vietravel - had a talk with TheLEADER. Ky highlighted some current "bottlenecks" which should be eliminated soon to boost the tourism sector and attract more tourists to Vietnam.
According to Nguyen Quoc Ky, first of all, we should reconsider our visa exemption policy. Vietnam should learn from countries in the region such as Thailand (exempting visa for citizens of 61 countries and territories), Singapore (exempting visa for citizens of 158 countries and territories)...
All of these countries have also adopted the policy of issuing the visa at border checkpoints and electronic visa (e-visa). In fact, it has proved to be remarkably effective in attracting tourists.
Ky also suggested extending the permitted period that tourists can visit Vietnam without a visa from 15 days as now to 30 days. Therefore, we can have more chances to prolong their stay in Vietnam.
Besides, Ky thought that the visa exemption policy for citizens of five European countries who visit Vietnam in 15 days or less was rather confusing due to the compulsory gap of at least 30 days between two visa-free visits.
"In my opinion, Vietnam should commit to 3 to 5-year visa exemption", Ky suggested.
Additionally, the current e-visa policy should expand its list with 12 other countries apart from 40 existing countries. The government can select the potential markets such as the top ten ones with the highest number of tourists to Vietnam or the top ten highest income countries in the world.
Another issue is the promotion of the national tourism brand. "Currently, Vietnam has not owned a reliable tourism brand yet, which leads to a waste of resources. We recommend using local food as our tourism brand. Vietnam cuisines are well known, thus, the scheme will be cost-effective but still highly influential", said Ky.
Ky emphasized that tackling these "bottlenecks" requires a great effort of the Government and relevant authorities.