With serious competitors leading in international tourist arrivals such as Malaysia and Thailand, Vietnam arrives late on the tourism scene of Southeast Asia. Its recent opening to foreign visitors came along the economic opening in the late 1990’s and 2000’s, and the country is yet to become a global favorite. Here are a couple of ways to improve tourism industry in Vietnam:
- Offer visa on arrival to more countries, and make more people eligible for it.
According to myvietnamvisa.com, “Visa on arrival is valid for air travel only through one of the designated international airports in Vietnam including Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Ho Chi Minh city.
In order to get your visa on arrival, you are required to apply online for an approval letter in advance. You CAN NOT get your visa directly at Vietnam airport without having the pre-approved visa letter.
Green card holders or temporary passport holders may not be eligible for the visa on arrival scheme, therefore, they must apply for a visa beforehand.”
Also, get rid of the long immigration lines at airports for tourists.
According to nomadicnotes.com, “Tan Son Nhat is inside the city area, making it one of the closest airports to the city in Southeast Asia. When everything goes right getting out of the airport is a breeze. Even with the crazy traffic, you can be in downtown District 1 in half an hour, and a taxi costs less than $10.
When it goes wrong you can be stuck getting a visa for an hour, or in a traffic crush trying to enter the airport.
With the airport being in the city there is little room for growth, and the facilities are already stretched beyond its intended capacity. Many flights are boarded by bus on the tarmac as there are not enough gates to serve every flight.”
- Transportation inside cities: The popular cities in Vietnam are quite crowded and traffic tends to get a little out of hand. Tourists usually have a hard time moving around and experiencing the place. The Vietnamese government should work on this problem and make transportation easy and seamless for tourists.
- Providing more countryside tours to the tourists: Vietnam needs to put more focus on countryside attractions so as to improve the economy of small cities. This will also have an impact on the decentralization of big cities and ensure that these big cities have way fewer traffic jams. At the end of the day, this will leave the big cities far cleaner and more conducive to live in!
- Language barriers: Technologies like Touch & Go in Malaysia should be made use of so that foreigners won’t have a need to interact with locals all the time, as very few locals actually speak English in Vietnam. This will bring a lot more satisfaction and comfort to the visitors. This technology can be used for the payments in buses, taxi or metros.
- Mix long-stay packages with neighborhoods: Vietnam needs to come together with neighboring countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Malaysia and offer tourists a package tourism deal. This certainly will increase the number of yearly visitors in Vietnam.
- Offering attractive packages to cold weather countries: Vietnam is generally considered a hot climate country, which probably discourages people from cold countries such as Canada, Germany, and other European countries to come visit. There is a need to promote more long-stay packages in coastal areas for people from these countries.
- Halal Tourism: Tourists from Muslim countries should be targeted more as Middle Easterns spend more money than Europeans on vacations.
According to theJakartapost.com, “Tourists from the Middle East are said to spend more money when traveling to Indonesia compared to other countries.
Travel spending of Middle Eastern tourists is higher [compared to Asian and European visitors] despite being lower in arrival numbers,” said halal tourism acceleration and development head Riyanto Sofyan in Jakarta on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.
“According to the Tourism Ministry’s data, foreign tourists from Middle Eastern countries spent an average of US$1,750 per visit/person, with those hailing from the United Arab Emirates spending $1,500 on average. Meanwhile, the average travel spending of visitors from Asian countries is $1,200. “Middle Eastern tourists mostly enjoy shopping, natural and cultural attractions, the beach and sightseeing while in Indonesia. Many also travel to the Puncak area in West Java,” said Riyanto.
The government is currently targeting the halal tourism market, particularly for countries in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait. “Around 600,000 Middle Eastern tourists traveled to Thailand and over 400,000 visited Malaysia. Meanwhile, Indonesia welcomed around 200,000 of them,” Riyanto added.
The potential of halal tourism is high due to the many airlines offering flights from the Middle East to Indonesia, including Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. Tourism Minister Arief Yahya previously stated that this particular market was highly significant since of the 6.8 billion of people in the world, around 1.6 billion are Muslim of which 60 percent are under the age of 30.”
- Clean up the place: Here’s the review from a tourist that visited Nha Trang beach;
“Of course, when you look up on Google, you find only amazing pictures and rapidly we thought it was a must-do. How wrong we were…
The beaches are fairly dirty and polluted, No much words to say besides the fact that our stay in Nha Trang has been the trigger to create this blog. When you go on holidays and you pay substantial money to enjoy the sun and beach, you expect it to be clean. Some of the beaches are full of trash and even if the municipality cleans them every day, there is a huge amount of garbage floating in the sea, so you swim between plastic bags and other kinds of trash. We even saw a syringe!
Then you walk in the street and you see some trash a bit everywhere.”
If the Vietnamese government can work on the problems listed above, there’s no doubt that tourism in the country will improve immensely over the next decade.