New Vietnam Visa Polices: With a more relaxed approach to visa regulations and extended stays for international visitors, a promising outlook emerges for Việt Nam’s forthcoming peak tourism season.
Effective from August 15, the revised regulations governing the entry and exit of Vietnamese citizens, as well as the entry, exit, transit, and stays of foreigners in Việt Nam, are set to introduce significant alterations to visa requirements and duration of stay.
A notable change is that travelers holding electronic visas (e-visas) will now be entitled to remain in the country for up to 90 days, a substantial increase from the previous 30-day limit. This adjustment permits them to enter and exit Việt Nam multiple times within this 90-day period, eliminating the need for a fresh visa application for each entry. Moreover, citizens of countries granted visa-free entry to Việt Nam will now enjoy an extended stay of up to 45 days, a considerable enhancement from the previous 15-day allowance. The issuance and extension of visas will continue to adhere to established guidelines.
Việt Nam’s National Tourism Administration, under the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, in collaboration with tourism experts, holds the belief that these favorable changes will significantly contribute to the expansion of Việt Nam’s tourism sector. Anticipated inflows of visitors from various countries could potentially stimulate attractive investment prospects.
In the initial seven months of 2023, nearly 6.6 million tourists explored Việt Nam, approaching the annual target of 8 million visitors. Further growth is projected during the busy year-end period.
Agoda, a prominent online travel platform, reported a substantial 33% surge in searches for information regarding Việt Nam’s visa renewal policy among international travelers in the two weeks following the National Assembly’s approval of the updated regulations.
Among these searches, French visitors exhibited remarkable enthusiasm, driving a notable 72% increase in demand for accommodations in Việt Nam compared to two weeks prior. Similarly, tourists from the Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, and the United States displayed a noticeable surge of 38% to 45% in their interest in Vietnamese tourism.
Nguyễn Thanh Sơn, Deputy Director of Benthanh Tourist International Centre, revealed that the company had proactively informed partners in key markets such as Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the US about Việt Nam’s new visa policy.
These partners responded with great enthusiasm, Sơn noted.
However, Sơn mentioned that tourism companies were awaiting comprehensive guidelines before collaborating with partners to devise new travel itineraries, refresh offerings, and launch marketing campaigns to attract visitors.
Cao Trí Dũng, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Việt Nam TravelMart Joint Stock Company, emphasized that the endorsed visa policy by the National Assembly would trigger a fundamental transformation in guest profiles and the service infrastructure within the tourism sector.
This trend will influence the service ecosystem, necessitating adjustments to align with the innovative policy. In turn, the policy will create favorable conditions to enhance the overall competitiveness of Vietnamese tourism, along with various regions, in capturing the attention of international visitors.
While the more lenient visa policy holds significance, according to Nguyễn Trùng Khánh, Director of the Vietnam National Tourism Administration, it alone cannot entirely amplify Việt Nam’s allure to tourists, enhance its competitiveness, and captivate global markets. Achieving these objectives demands a synchronized approach that encompasses a spectrum of complementary solutions.
The industry at large should prioritize crafting distinct and appealing tourism offerings, coupled with robust marketing and promotional endeavors targeting key markets.
Implementing systematic and professional strategies to harness substantial potential remains crucial. Ensuring effective destination management, particularly concerning security and safety, plays a pivotal role in delivering a positive traveler experience within the country.
Simultaneously, collective efforts are essential to train tourism personnel, aligning with the requirements for both quantity and quality, thereby elevating service standards to cater to diverse visitor needs. Furthermore, the widespread integration of digital transformation and information technology within tourism operations must be advanced harmoniously.
Meticulous attention should be devoted to all policies contributing to enhancing the overall travel experience in Việt Nam.
Considering the current growth rate, the tourism industry requires an annual influx of 40,000 new employees, in addition to retraining 25,000 individuals. However, educational institutions presently graduate only 20,000 students annually.
The proportion of adequately trained personnel within the tourism sector remains insufficient, encompassing a mere 43% of the total workforce, with nearly half lacking proficiency in foreign languages.
In contrast, the skill level of tourism workers in Việt Nam lags behind that of other nations. Notably, hotels in Việt Nam exhibit significantly lower productivity than their counterparts in destinations such as Singapore, Japan, and Malaysia. This disparity could hinder the ability of local workers to compete, especially given the substantial number of skilled tourism professionals from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore seeking opportunities in Việt Nam.
Addressing this challenge requires a resolute commitment to enhancing the competencies and proficiencies of Việt Nam’s tourism workforce in the years ahead.