To revive the growth in foreign tourists, Vietnam should focus on dealing with simple problems before turning to money- and time-consuming matters, Deputy Prime Minster Vu Duc Dam said on June 11.

Speaking on the fringe of the National Assembly’s ongoing ninth sitting, he said it will take time to upgrade infrastructure like airports, roads, hotels, and cultural structures to completely satisfy visitors. The Government will also work to attract more foreign visitors by exempting visas and calling for private funding for overseas promotion campaigns.

In the shorter term, Vietnam is able to improve other aspects that do not require as much funding, he suggested, naming several things that deter foreigners such as being overcharged, which makes them feel that they are being cheated.

Many foreigners also feel unsafe when travelling on roads in Vietnam, he noted, adding that local traffic has not improved much despite numerous enacted measures.

Meanwhile, beggars have also deteriorated the country’s image. The Deputy PM explained that when on holiday, tourists want to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere and explore new things, yet the common scene of beggars, including some fake ones, casts a doleful look on places of interest and upsets visitors throughout their time in Vietnam .

He added the unsolved matter of food safety, such as street food sellers using their naked hands to pick up food instead of wearing plastic gloves, a small detail but occasionally alarming for foreigners.

Uncared-for public toilets and some Vietnamese visitors littering tourist sites also leave a bad impression of the country on foreigners, Dam noted.

He underlined the importance of local people’s attitudes towards travellers from other countries, adding that only one negative interaction can maim the visitor’s experience.

The Deputy PM said except for traffic issues that require more synchronous measures, Vietnam can address the other issues, citing central Hoi An and Da Nang cities as good examples.

He stressed that such matters not only relate to tourism but also partly illustrate the Vietnamese culture. Improvements in these aspects can lead to the development of tourism, culture, and the entire nation as well. -VNA