More than 150 overseas Vietnamese (OV) delegates from 14 French cities and provinces gathered at a meeting in Paris on Sept. 8 to discuss solutions to develop Vietnam’s tourism sector.

Head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT)’s Travel Department Vu The Binh said the OV community in foreign countries can play a significant role in helping Vietnam develop its no-smoke industry.

The organisation of the meeting is part of a new idea and policy that aims to get the OV community in France involved in promoting Vietnam as an attractive tourism destination to foreign tourists, he said.

The OV delegates were eager to contribute their ideas on the issue, urging the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines as well as travel agencies, cultural centres and embassies to be more proactive in organising exhibitions, fairs and other tourism promotion activities and creating new tourism products.

Attention should be paid to the training of professional tourist guides and developing ecological tourism models to attract more tourists to the nation, they said.

VNAT Deputy General Director Nguyen Minh Cuong informed that foreign tourists will be exempted from visa application fees when they travel to Vietnam on the occasion of the 1,000 th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi. He said visas will be granted to tourists at the airports./.