Tourism sector moves to optimize new visa policy

By VNA   August 17, 2023 | 08:25 pm PT
Tourism sector moves to optimize new visa policy
Foreign tourists drink beer at a restaurant in Hoi An ancient town, April 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Phong
The new visa policy, coming into force on August 15, is believed to open up various opportunities for tourism development, and stakeholders in this industry are taking actions to seize those chances.

The National Assembly approved the law amending and supplementing some articles of the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese Citizens and the Law on Foreigners’ Entry into, Exit from, Transit through and Residence in Vietnam in late June.

Under this law, the e-visa validity period is extended to 90 days from 30 days. Within 90 days after the e-visa is granted, foreigners can enter and exit Vietnam for unlimited times and without having to apply for new visas.

The law also permits citizens of the countries entitled to Vietnam’s unilateral visa exemption to be granted a temporary residence period of 45 days, instead of 15 days like in the past, and have visa granting and temporary residence extension considered in line with regulations.

As soon as the law was adopted in late June and took effect on August 15, foreigners’ searches for Vietnamese tourism have soared.

Tran Thi Bao Thu, director for marketing and communications of Vietluxtour, said the new visa policy provides a chance for businesses to diversify tourism products and improve service quality to attract visitors. The company has received orders from partners in Europe, the U.S., and Northeast Asia for the tours between the fourth quarter of 2023 and the first quarter of 2024.

Nguyen Xuan Quynh, CEO of Allez Voyage – a company specializing in the French and U.S. market, held that the new visa policy will serve as an impetus for businesses to launch new products meeting tourists’ demand for long holidays.

He called on the government to expand the new visa policy’s coverage to more countries, and localities to improve the quality of services to draw more international visitors.

Phung Quang Thang, standing vice chairman of the Vietnam Society of Travel Agents, said the new visa policy is just a factor of tourists’ travel decisions. To encourage them to stay here longer and spend more, the sector should design new products and tours suiting long-stay travelers such as tours combing destinations in Vietnam and neighboring Laos and Cambodia.

To prepare for the expected surge in international arrivals this year and foster tourism development, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has taken many steps.

It has approved a strategy for tourism marketing by 2030 and a plan on some night-time tourism models. It also held a conference on August 15 to disseminate the new documents so as to help speed up tourism recovery and development.

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