Last update: 13:30 | 06/11/2017
Vietnam set a target of receiving 10 million international tourists in 2017. In less than 9 months, the tourism sector had already served more than 9.5 million foreign visitors, indicating that Vietnam has become more attractive as a tourist destination.
The Vietnamese government has defined tourism as a spearhead economic sector and promulgated many policies to support its growth.
Doctor Tran Quang Hao, an expert in tourism development, said the industry has made a great contribution to realizing Vietnam’s target GDP growth of 6.7%.
He added, “With the current growth, Vietnam will attract 12 million international tourists this year. This is the result of breakthrough solutions in the past two years by the industry itself and the government’s adoption of an e-visa policy.”
Vietnam began to grant e-visas at the beginning of the year and plans to pilot the model for two years. The e-visa is valid for a maximum of 30 days, single entry, for tourism purposes. It doesn’t require letters of guarantee or invitation as in the past.
The time needed to process an e-visa application is normally three working days. Payment is made electronically. Since July 1st, Vietnam has granted a visa waiver to citizens of the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
The policy will continue for one year. In recent years, the annual growth rate of international arrivals to Vietnam has been as much as 7.2%.
Nguyen Thu Hanh, a tourism expert, said, “Tourism products and their competitiveness remain a problem. The tourism sector has promulgated various measures to improve quality and resolve institutional difficulties to attract more tourists. But the most important thing is still the quality of tourism products. We need to invest more in our natural resources and turn them into marketable products rather than simply exploiting them.”
Economists say that despite floods in the third quarter, the tourism sector still enjoys several favorable conditions including Vietnam’s hosting of the APEC Summit 2017 which is expected to attract a great number of foreign tourists.