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Vietnam should offer visa waiver to wealthy European tourists with long stays: EuroCham

Vietnam should offer visa waiver to wealthy European tourists with long stays: EuroCham

Saturday, February 18, 2023, 09:41 GMT+7
Vietnam should offer visa waiver to wealthy European tourists with long stays: EuroCham
EuroCham affirms to join hands with Vietnam to cope with challenges, helping enterprises in Vietnam and Europe to take advantage of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. Photo: EuroCham Vietnam

The Vietnamese government should weigh exempting visas for three or six months for high-class European travelers who want to spend long holidays in Vietnam, Alain Cany, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham Vietnam), said at the launching ceremony of its 2022/2023 Whitebook in Hanoi on Thursday.

At the launching ceremony, the EuroCham Vietnam representative said he expected suggestions in the White Book to help Vietnam’s tourism sector thrive.

“Despite success in attracting tourists from China and South Korea, the tourism sector [of Vietnam] may depend on these markets.

“We recommend the government to pay more attention to the European market to reduce pressure and resources,” EuroCham suggested.

The chamber said it had informed the Vietnamese government that European tourists have changed their travel behavior. They take fewer trips but spend more time in a destination.

Vietnam’s plan to extend the visa waiver period for foreigners entering Vietnam from 15 to 30 days is a positive move. However, more solutions should be applied to attract foreign travelers, according to EuroCham.

Vietnam should apply visa waiver to citizens of all European Union countries and consider offering short-term visa waiver to some cases, such as those coming to Vietnam to attend exhibitions or investment and trade promotion forums.

EuroCham also advised Vietnam to come up with continuous promotion strategies in Europe.

In addition, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism should open offices in Europe which will act as bridges between Vietnam and Europe to boost Vietnam’s tourism promotion.

Delegates at the launching ceremony of the EuroCham’s 2022/2023 Whitebook on February 16, 2023. Photo: EuroCham Vietnam
Delegates at the launching ceremony of the EuroCham’s 2022/2023 Whitebook on February 16, 2023. Photo: EuroCham Vietnam

Eurocham also proposed easing visa requirements for foreign experts to Vietnam.

Up to 47 percent of 1,300 enterprises surveyed by EuroCham last quarter said Vietnam may get more foreign direct investment if it removes visa-related obstacles for experts.

However, their greatest expectation is the reduction of administrative procedures, followed by the improvement of infrastructure facilities.

“If requirements are simplified and more transparent, Vietnam will become an attractive destination of foreign experts and investors,” EuroCham vice chairman Jean-Jacques Bouflet said.

The Whitebook is a comprehensive overview of how European businesses operate in Vietnam and their recommendations for government action.

The 2022/2023 White Book also features challenges and solutions for other important issues, such as healthcare, green economy and sustainable development, innovation, and investment.

In particular, EuroCham suggested focusing on offshore wind power, plastic waste treatment, and construction of more green buildings using energy effectively.

According to EuroCham, if these challenges are resolved, the potential and benefits of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) will be realized.

In response, vice president of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Nguyen Quang Vinh said “We will actively listen to enterprises’ opinions to promptly propose the Vietnamese government improve a law system corresponding with commitments in the EVFTA and implement the deal more successfully and effectively”.

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Thanh Ha - Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre News

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