Although it has been open for more than a month, the situation of international tourists in Vietnam is not very positive.
“My company has been open for more than a month, but has only received 5 guests from Italy. There are 10 delegations of visitors who inquired, but when they heard about their visa policy, they gave up,” said Ngo Thach Lam, director of Amo Travel. , a company specializing in international arrivals, answered Zing .
That’s the reality other inbound companies are facing right now. Despite opening the door, they still just sit and count the number of international visitors dripping.
Visa policy is still difficult
According to a reporter’s survey, the only thing that makes international travel agencies uncomfortable at the moment is the visa policy. Although it has been mentioned many times since opening to tourism on March 15, Vietnam has not made any move to further relax the visa policy.
Specifically, for 3 years from March 15, citizens of 13 countries will be exempted from visa when coming to Vietnam, regardless of passport type and entry purpose. Citizens of countries exempt from visas include: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russia, Japan, Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belarus . However, the visa exemption period is only 15 days.”Policy is clearly problematic. Visa is too short. In March, if you want to open the door, you should have done it from January. I think with this problem of visa jams, it will not be until September that Vietnam stops counting guests. international”, Mr. Lam added.
The Visa policy is still a story that makes travel companies depressed. Photo: Heritage Cruise.
Many travel companies said that after opening, countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia or Singapore all started from zero. The previous advantages were not really significant. The problem is that countries must grasp the most powerful weapon to attract tourists – a friendly visa policy.
Most countries in the region apply a visa-free policy for international visitors entering from 30 days. For example, Thailand exempts up to 60 days with a tourist visa, allowing single or multiple entry (can be extended for an additional 30 days). Or Indonesia is 30 days (for single entry) and can be extended before it expires. In general, compared with other competitive tourism countries in the region, Vietnam’s visa policy is considered unfriendly when it is only 15-50% compared to theirs.
Amo Travel representative shared: “We received 5 guests from Italy, but in reality there were up to 10 delegations. Vietnam’s visa procedures are not good. Even with e-visa, my guests complained that they could not. call, get in touch. They can choose other countries that are doing better.”
Can compete with Thailand?
In 2019, the tourism industry contributed up to 9.2% of the country’s GDP. However, many people working in tourism commented that Vietnam does not really take this industry seriously. Although the tourism industry is said to be a spearhead economic sector, the actual actions are not proportionate.
According to Mr. Pham Ha, CEO of Lux Group, Vietnam’s tourism opening is generally good and agile. However, practical actions make it difficult to welcome international guests. Mr. Ha said that many of the company’s customers complained that it was difficult to find information about Vietnam’s tourism, and the promotion was not strong. From there, leading to tourists also consider when choosing Vietnam or other countries in the region.What Thailand has, Vietnam does not lack.
“Over the past 10 years, Thailand has become the top destination for international tourists. They do a great job, but after the pandemic, tourists want new destinations. Thailand is too old. Vietnam should have been. take the opportunity to position the national brand and become the leading destination in the region. I think if we don’t change soon, we will fall into competition with ourselves,” said Mr. Ha.
A representative of Lux Group commented that there are 4 bottlenecks that Vietnam needs to remove at this time, including policies, quality of human resources, attractive tourism products and effective tourism promotion.
If these problems can be solved, Vietnam can completely compete with other countries in the region. On the other hand, Vietnam also needs good policies to support the tourism industry like Thailand. In the past, tours to Thailand were very cheap because of subsidized policies.
The shopping centers will support the cost of the tour company. In return, the tour company offers a program for visitors to enter the shopping mall. This price support process makes the cost of going to Thailand before the epidemic is always at a soft level.
Regarding the comparison with Thailand, Amo Travel representative admitted that Vietnam’s potential is huge. Landscape, culture, history we all have enough. Beautiful destination, good infrastructure, smooth domestic movement.
Mr. Lam concluded: “For many years now, we have always lost to Thailand in terms of visas. Vietnam’s amusement parks are not as diverse. The tourism industry is not considered a spearhead economic sector, if any, it is not. It’s just words. Actions aren’t really proportionate at all,” said Mr. Lam.