Through intensive tourist marketing campaigns in countries like India, the US and throughout the European Union, Vietnam hopes to boost international tourism to the country. Its goal is set at hosting a total number of five million tourists this year.
Vietnam’s tourist industry steadily recovering
According to Nguyen Trung Khanh, Deputy Chairman of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the tourism sector has recovered well over the past six months. This is partly due to re-opening for international travel and the removal of the country’s quarantine requirement for entry.
In the first half of this year Vietnam welcomed over 602,000 tourists, mainly from the United States. This is a sevenfold increase as compared to visitor numbers in 2021 when most of the country’s COVID-19 measures were still in place. Even so, this number makes up for only 12% of the number of five million tourists predicted.
Plans to revive international tourism to Vietnam
Currently, Vietnam Airlines operate direct flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City to San Francisco. Vietjet Air plans to open additional air routes to connect the country’s key tourist destinations to India, which was one of Vietnam’s fastest growing markets before the COVID pandemic. In addition, tourism authorities will join forces with tour operators and ambassadors abroad to launch travel campaigns in South Korea, Japan and the European and ASEAN bloc countries. This will mainly be done in those countries which have been granted visa-free travel by Vietnam. The tourism sector will also organise designated trips to host delegates from travel agencies in Europe, the US and South Korea in order to promote the country’s image abroad.
On 15 March 2022 Vietnam lifted its quarantine requirement and has since resumed its pre-pandemic visa-free travel policy for tourist visitors from 24 countries, including several EU countries, as well as Japan and South Korea. However, Vietnamese authorities are only issuing a one-month visa and have so far not resumed granting the three-month visas that were issued before the pandemic.
Travel organisations are disappointed with the unwelcoming visa policy, as it is still the greatest obstacle to recovery of tourism in Vietnam.
Applying for a Vietnam visa
Travellers who are UK or Irish nationals need to apply for a Vietnam visa if they intend to stay in the country for longer than 15 days. The Vietnam e-visa is an electronic travel authorisation that is approved and issued before departure. There is no need for passengers to queue up upon arrival in Vietnam to pay any stamping fees. This is because these are already included in the total cost of the e-visa Vietnam, at € 49,95. A supplementary fee will be charged only for an expedited application with urgent delivery option. The additional charge for this is € 17,50 per application.