The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has taken a number of approaches to develop the sector effectively and sustainably in 2015 and following years.

The ministry has proposed stablishing a fund to mobilise different resources for the development of tourism.

The fund, with 70 percent of its funding coming from businesses, is expected to expand promotion activities and markets to enhance the competitiveness of the sector.

The ministry has also sought the approval of the Government to grant visa exemptions for tourists from key markets to draw more international visitors to the country.

General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), Nguyen Van Tuan, argued that a more favourable visa policy would lure more foreign arrivals.

Currently, Vietnam unilaterally exempts visas for citizens of Japan, the Republic of Korea, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Russia. It bilaterally grants 30-day exemptions for citizens from nine out of the 10 ASEAN member states, according to Tuan.

Under a resolution just issued on June 1 this year by the government, visitors from Belarus will enjoy visa exemptions from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2020.

Meanwhile, Vu The Binh, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association said a favourable visa policy should be applied for key tourism markets and countries that share good political and cultural relations with Vietnam.

The association has suggested that France, Germany, the UK and Australia should also be added to the exemption list. It wants to see more visas collected at border gates in the last six months of this year.

Vietnam has seen significant increases of tourists from its key markets of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Russian since granting visa exemptions to them.

In 2014, Vietnam welcomed 1.8 million tourists from the three countries, making up 23.6 percent of the total arrivals.-VNA