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Vietnam PM demands tourism boost with online entry protocols, short-term visa exemptions

Vietnam PM demands tourism boost with online entry protocols, short-term visa exemptions

Sunday, February 25, 2024, 08:42 GMT+7
Vietnam PM demands tourism boost with online entry protocols, short-term visa exemptions
International tourists shop for souvenirs and delicacies in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tu Trung / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has directed the implementation of several measures, including the adoption of online entry and exit procedures and piloting short-term visa exemptions for foreign tourists from key markets, aimed at boosting tourism.

In a directive signed on Friday regarding comprehensive, rapid, and sustainable tourism development in the near future, Prime Minister Chinh noted that Vietnamese tourism has gradually recovered post-COVID-19, particularly in domestic tourism, yielding some positive outcomes.

Despite some recovery, challenges persist in the tourism sector, with international arrivals in 2023 only reaching 70 percent of 2019 levels, and spending on shopping, entertainment, and other tourism services remaining subdued.

The prime minister urged ministries, agencies, and localities to establish tourism value chains, connecting national and global tourism. 

Local People’s Committees were required to ensure transparency in pricing for tourism services and take decisive action against violations. 

Stringent measures are to be taken against those involved in illegal activities such as price gouging and false advertising in the tourism sector.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism was tasked with promptly implementing the National Green Tourism Action Program nationwide and focusing on developing specialized tourism products tailored to Vietnam’s strengths, such as MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences & exhibitions) tourism, golf tourism, night tourism, community tourism, rural tourism, culinary tourism, and health tourism.

The Ministry of Public Security was directed to streamline administrative procedures, employ technology, and deploy automation solutions to ensure the safe entry, residence, and travel of foreigners in Vietnam. 

The ministry was also charged with launching research initiatives to propose and implement online entry and exit procedures utilizing facial recognition technology and electronic passports, aimed at enhancing convenience and efficiency for tourists.

It was tasked with evaluating the feasibility of piloting visa-on-arrival issuance for international tourists, with a report expected in the second quarter of 2024.

PM Chinh emphasized collaboration between relevant ministries and agencies to explore preferential exit and entry policies for select international markets with strong tourism potential, significant spending, and prolonged stays in key tourist destinations in Vietnam.

Further initiatives included expanding unilateral visa exemptions, piloting short-term visa exemptions for tourists from large-scale, high-spending markets, and introducing long-term, multiple-entry visas to attract high-end tourists and retirees with substantial spending capacity from target markets such as Europe, Northeast Asia, North America, India, and certain Middle Eastern countries.

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Bao Anh - Ngoc An / Tuoi Tre News


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