Trang Din Tien, a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Group, said Vietnam has not fully enhanced its status as a safe tourist destination despite its high vaccination coverage.

The country is “still timid and really unsure about resuming,” he said.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism says it needs to have a clearer and more proactive roadmap to inform the world that Vietnam is a safe destination and ready to welcome foreign tourists. Mr Tien said.

He added that this would be an opportunity to strengthen its position on the world map for Vietnam’s aviation and tourism industry, which has been hit hardest by the Covid pandemic over the past two years.

“Vietnam was too cautious about resuming tourism. So far, it has provided citizens of only 13 countries with visa-free policies for up to 15 days.

“The government should give more countries visa exemptions, extend the stay of tourists and bring more foreigners back to the country. This is an opportunity for airlines and travel agencies to recover in almost two years. Because it will be, “he repeated.

After Vietnam was closed for nearly two years, it resumed inbound tourism two weeks ago, and the government resumed a one-sided visa exemption policy for citizens of 13 countries.

Citizens of Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom can visit Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa, regardless of passport type or purpose of entry. .. ..

The country also has a bilateral visa exemption policy for Chile and Kyrgyzstan, co-members of ASEAN.

“If Vietnam can quickly restore tourism and improve its position on the world’s tourism map, the country’s competitiveness will increase dramatically,” Tien said.

According to a report released by the World Economic Forum, Vietnam was ranked 63rd out of 140 countries in the 2019 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Ranking. The tourism industry has been limited due to low labor productivity and reluctance to apply advanced information and communication technologies.

In 2019, before the onset of Covid-19, Vietnam received a record 18 million foreign tourists.

This year’s goal is to welcome 5 to 6 million foreign tourists.

The country reopened on March 15 for foreign tourists and demanded that they give negative Covid test results from either PCR or rapid testing prior to arrival.