Some cumbersome regulations for visa exemptions are believed to be hindering efforts to attract more foreign tourists to Việt Nam. — Photo ndh.vn
HCM City – Some cumbersome regulations for visa exemptions are believed to be hindering efforts to attract more foreign tourists to Việt Nam.
For a long time, the visa granted policy for foreigners coming to the country has been considered as less attractive than neighbouring countries.
Currently, Việt Nam only exempts visas for residents of 23 nations and territories, while Indonesia grants visa exemption for 169 nations and territories, the Philippines 165, Malaysia 164, Singapore 160, and Thailand 61.
In addition, foreigners who recieve visa exemptions are allowed to stay here for only 15 days, less than the average time tourists often want to stay.
To enter Việt Nam on a visa exemption, foreigners’ passport must be valid for at least six months and must not have been in Việt Nam for the 30 previous days.
“These irrational regulations have been complained about and inhibit foreigners from visiting Việt Nam,” Phan Đình Huê, director of Viet Circle Tourism Company, told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper.
Right now, tourism companies are trying to promote linked tours with neighbouring nations, such as Việt Nam – Laos – Cambodia.
“Laos and Cambodia don’t have big international airports, European guests often fly to Việt Nam first, go to visit Laos and Cambodia, then come back,”
“15 days are not enough for them so they have to pay a visa fee, from US$25 to $30 to reenter Việt Nam,”
“The problem here is Việt Nam has already exempted visas but now foreigners must pay a visa fee. This kind of policy can’t promote tourism,” Huê added.
“Not allowing tourists with visa exemptions to re-enter Việt Nam for at least 30 days is not a good policy to attract foreigners coming back,” Trần Thị Bảo Thu, Marketing and PR director of FidiTour company, said.
She suggested that security and immigrant worker limitations should be regulated in the law and separate from tourists.
“If we can separate such issues, Vietnamese tourism would take off,” she said. -- VNS