Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has asked the Ministry of Public Security to streamline administrative procedures related to the issuance and application of electronic visas, which he considers a hindrance to Vietnam’s tourism growth in 2022.
The Government Office has issued PM Chinh’s order following a conference held in late December last year to discuss ways to attract international tourists to Vietnam.
He asked the Ministry of Public Security to coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant agencies to enhance the application of information technology and improve e-visa issuance procedures at international border gates.
They were also asked to review, amend, and supplement visa-related policies to create favorable conditions for international tourists.
Issues which are beyond the jurisdiction of these organizations should be reported to higher-level agencies.
Prime Minister Chinh also requested that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism work with the Government Office and other agencies to consult with enterprises and experts to quickly complete a draft directive on the attraction of international tourists to Vietnam and submit it to the prime minister for approval this month.
According to the prime minister, Vietnam reopened its doors to foreign travelers in March last year, earlier than many other countries in the region.
The local tourism sector has recovered, but the results have not been as expected.
The number of international tourists visiting Vietnam last year met only some 70 percent of the target, primarily due to the country’s lack of breakthrough solutions.
Vietnam sets a target to welcome 110 million tourist arrivals this year, including 102 million domestic travelers and eight million international guests.
The country expects this influx of tourism to lead to industry revenues of VND650 trillion (US$27.6 billion).
With China’s reopening earlier this year, Vietnam has a bright outlook for tourism growth.
Vietnam’s current visa policies are considered to be less friendly than those of other countries in the Southeast Asian region.
Many foreigners have urged the country to relax its visa policies, which many say discourage visitors from making repeat visits to the country.
Earlier, Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung proposed many preferential policies for foreign visitors, mainly those related to the nation’s visa policy.
He suggested issuing e-visas to citizens from all source markets of Vietnam’s tourism and continuing to simplify e-visa issuance procedures.
In addition, the visa waiver period should be extended from 15 to 30 days to facilitate foreign visitors, while the issuance of visas at border gates to international travelers should be piloted.