Editor’s note:Luong Hoai Nam, former deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, says the current visa policy is discouraging international tourists from visiting the country in his op-ed exclusively written for Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. Nam’s piece of writing is particularly worth noticing at a time when Vietnam reported its tenth straight drop in tourism arrival number in March, according to the VNAT statistics. The Vietnamese tourism visa policy, especially the complicated procedures to get a visa, is one of the import reasons why the number of international tourists visiting Vietnam did not increase but continuously shrank over the past time. Local tourism authorities attributed the falling number arrivals in ten months in a row to the plunges of the Russian and Chinese markets, while the growths of other markets could not offset for such losses. Such explanation, to me, is only partially correct. Reality is that the tourism visa policy is a very significant hurdle for the growth of international tourism in Vietnam. Complex visa rules; short exemption list With nearly eight million international visitors a year, including those who come by road via the borders with China, Laos, and Cambodia and those who arrive for business…
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