Press Release from Vietnam National Administration of Tourism: Vietnam plans for 15% increase in visitors from five European countries
July 01, 2015
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
The Visa exemption launched by the Government of Vietnam in June 2015 is a critical tool for promoting travel to Vietnam by permitting citizens from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Belarus to visit Vietnam without obtaining a visitor visa. As of 1 July 2015, visitors travelling to Vietnam with passports issued by those five Western European countries and Belarus will no longer need a visa to visit for stays up to 15 days.
Europe in general, and the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy in particular, are some of the most important markets for Vietnam tourism with visitor numbers increasing significantly in recent years. In 2014, Europe generated nearly 1.2 million arrivals to Vietnam, in which visitors from the above five countries to Vietnam reached more than 635,000 visits.
Over the past number of years Vietnam has emerged as a world class destination that delivers an unrivalled visitor experience, from natural wonders and cultural offerings to adventure tours and beautiful beaches with some of the leading resorts in the world. This story book of unique experiences intertwined with history, extraordinary cuisine to vibrant young cities mixed with century old landmarks. Vietnam and its people have much to offer to the European market from product diversity, authenticity, and originality mixed with different emotions. Vietnam continues to offer the visitor a tradition of service built on an outstanding cultural heritage coupled with an unmatched friendliness and sophistication. The tourism sector was rewarded with several world class accolades over the recent time, some of these include:
- Vietnam was named by the Telegraph (UK) “one among 20 destinations for 2014”, “among top 10 countries” by Wanderlust Travel Awards 2015, and “3rd out of the top 10 most attractive destinations for travelling in the world in 2015” by America´s Forbes magazine;
- Ha Long Bay was rated by BBC Earth as “2nd among the 15 most amazing Landscapes and rock formations”,
- Hanoi was named 4th Travelers Choice Destination in the world by Trip Advisor;
- Hoi An ranks “4th among the 10 world famous cannals” by Touropia and selected as “among the top 10 city destinations” by Wanderlust Travel Award 2015;
- The Huffington Post listed Son Doong Cave among “top 10 trips to take in your lifetime”;
- The Telegraph rated Mekong river cruise as “among five of the best river cruises in Asia for 2015”.
In 2015, beside popular destinations for international tourist such as the capital city of Hanoi, Sa Pa, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, Binh Thuan, Ho Chi Minh City, a variety of new destinations and services were launched, promisingly appealing to visitors from Europe, including the world-wide famous Son Doong cave exploration tour, visiting Dong Van Karst Plateau Geopark, experiencing the Natural >World Heritage Ha Long Bay by seaplane, exploring the tranquil Mekong delta and experiencing the peaceful tropical paradise of Phu Quoc Island with its warm turquoise waters in the Gulf of Thailand.
The changes to visa policy also comes in an opportune time for visitors wishing to fly to Vietnam on a new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and Airbus 380, with the new high-tech plane coming into service on direct flights from Paris (Charles de Gaulle), London (Heathrow), and Germany (Frankfurt) with Vietnam airlines, and this is the first non-stop Dreamliner route between south-east Asia and Europe.
The relaxation of visa for five Western European countries and Belarus is a good first step to increasing visitor numbers to Vietnam. The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) in close collaboration with key partners including airlines and the travel trade plan to roll out an extensive programme of promotional activities to target visitors from the 5 key markets.
Vietnam aims to build on the success of 2014 which was one of the best years for tourism from Europe with visitor numbers increasing by 15%. Building on that success and sustaining growth in the future is at the heart of VNAT´s plans. The administration will continue to target prospective European visitors with distinctive value experiences, events, and special packages tailored to their interests and designed to encourage more potential holiday markers to travel now.
VNAT is also planning to launch a groundbreaking e-marketing campaign targeting visitors from several key target markets, including Northern Europe and the countries participating in the newly expanded visa waiver program.
These online marketing campaigns will be conducted in partnership with the private industry and Is aimed at generating broader awareness about traveling to Vietnam and harnessing the growing power of social media to more effectively reach key target markets.
VNAT´s e-marketing campaign will also be coupled with other marketing strategies, including print and broadcast advertising, as well as trades shows and targeted exhibitions in key source markets. VNAT will continue to work with key stakeholders and agencies including Vietnam Embassies and Vietnam connections overseas.