The European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham) has addressed a letter to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, urging the expansion of the visa exemption list to include all 27 member states of the European Union (EU).
EuroCham emphasised the commendable efforts made by the Vietnamese government to streamline the visa system, such as extending the validity of electronic visas to 90 days and permitting multiple entries effective from August 15.
However, EuroCham contends that the current exemption list, encompassing only seven nations - Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland - ought to be extended to all EU member states.
According to EuroCham, this enlargement of the visa exemption would draw a substantial influx of visitors from the EU market, boasting a population of over 500 million.
Eliminating entry barriers for international travelers, particularly those with robust purchasing power, presents a remarkable opportunity for the domestic tourism industry, which has grappled with adversity in recent years.
Gabor Fluit, chairman of EuroCham Vietnam, said the potential of European tourists as a lucrative customer segment for Vietnam's tourism sector was huge. European visitors tend to extend their stays beyond two weeks and make noteworthy contributions to Vietnam's tourism industry.
Furthermore, these visits engender prospects for investment and business ventures in Vietnam, Fluit added.
"The policy reforms, combined with mounting global recognition and interest in Vietnam, present significant prospects for bolstering economic growth and establishing Vietnam as a premier destination within the global tourism landscape," Fluit said.
Moreover, this proposal has garnered the support of 18 EU country-specific business associations in Vietnam, including the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, Central and Eastern Europe Business Association in Vietnam, Portugal-Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dutch Business Association Vietnam, French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam, German Business Association, Italian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam, Northern European Business Association in Vietnam, and the Spanish Business Association in Vietnam.
Google Destination Insight's latest report further underscores Vietnam's status as a highly sought-after tourist destination. Ranked among the top seven most frequently searched travel destinations, Vietnam holds appeal for global travellers.
Notably, Vietnam stands as the sole Southeast Asian nation to feature in the top 20 rankings, a testament to its allure.
Beyond its allure as a tourist haven, Vietnam has emerged as a favoured investment destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). The recent Business Climate Index report by EuroCham reveals that 48 per cent of businesses anticipate an increase in FDI inflows to Vietnam in the forthcoming quarter.
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