Foreign visitors at Noi Bai International Airport. VNA/VNS Photo

Recommendations related to entry visa policies also include extending the period of the announced visa exemptions and new exemptions to five years.

Creating a three-month tourist visa for Europeans who wish to make long-stay holidays to attract the wealthy senior market and providing short-stay visa exemption in certain situations, in particular in support of forums, exhibitions, and sporting events, are recommendations that are highlighted in the EuroCham’s annual publication.

“Vietnam has been successful in attracting visitors from China and South Korea, however, this may create dependence on these markets,” a representative from the Tourism & Hospitality Sector Committee said at the WhiteBook launch event on February 16.

“We suggest that the Government should put more focus on European markets to reduce the stress and stretch of resources by allowing visa exemption to all European countries,” the representative said. “On the other hand, we suggest that the Vietnamese Government consider having three-month or six-month visa exemptions targeting high-income Europeans wishing to spend long holidays in Vietnam.”

EuroCham has reported to the Government that tourist travel behaviour has changed as a side effect of the pandemic: they travel less frequently but spend time longer at a destination.

EuroCham suggested the Vietnam Administration of Tourism set up overseas offices in European countries to act as a coordinator and go-to point for stakeholders in such countries to effectively communicate Vietnam’s success and important developments. 

Jean-Jacques Bouflet, vice chairman of EuroCham, said, “In light of the difficult economic conditions of 2022 and forecasts that predict continued challenges in 2023, it is imperative that we take decisive action to address the issues affecting the business climate in Vietnam.”

One of the biggest concerns is the complex and unpredictable process of obtaining work visas for foreign experts, he said.

Currently, foreign experts face numerous obstacles and need to get approval from various levels of authority to work in the country. The process is often intimidating, frustrating, and unpredictable.

“If this process is simplified and made more transparent, foreign experts and investors will find Vietnam a much more attractive destination,” he added.

The Whitebook’s defining characteristic is that it includes contributions from EuroCham’s 18 sector committees.

It serves as a comprehensive guide to the regulatory landscape faced by European businesses in Vietnam.

With a focus on practical solutions, the Whitebook presents policy recommendations aimed at resolving regulatory hurdles and facilitating the growth of the country's economy. 

Source: Vietnam News