Vietnam needs to improve visa policy: experts

Vietnam should reform its visa policy to make it easier for international tourists to enter the country and fuel tourism growth accordingly, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reported, citing foreign experts.



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A tour guide is seen accompanying a small group of international tourists in Hoi An City

Speaking at the Vietnam Travel and Tourism Summit on December 6, John Lindquist, a member of the British Tourism Authority, said that taking Vietnam’s tourism to the next level would be a tough task.

Lindquist explained that the country’s visa requirements were stricter than those of other countries in the region. If Vietnam relaxes its visa policy, breakthroughs will happen in the non-smoke industry, he added.

Lindquist said if Vietnam offered visa exemptions for tourists from Great Britain and Western Europe, the total number of tourist arrivals in the country would surge by 20%.

The expert also suggested that some proposals from experts in the tourism consulting group should be considered to advance the tourism sector, including adding more countries to the list of those exempted from visa applications, simplifying visa issuance procedures and lengthening the visa-free stay.

Craig Douglas, a representative of Lodgis Hospitality Group, said many travelers preferred to holiday in Thailand, instead of Vietnam, because of the neighboring country’s lax visa policy.

Moreover, Lindquist suggested Vietnam should adjust upward its spending on marketing products and services and on building trademarks.

SGT