An Bang  beach is a famous destination in Hoi An.
(Photo: vntrip)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s renowned destinations, excellent tourism products and policies will be nudged closer to European friends under a programme held by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism in collaboration with relevant parties from June 18-29.

The programme serves as a catalyst to lure more European tourists while creating venue for tourism enterprises to bolster cooperation. It is scheduled in Zurich (Switzerland), Munich (Germany), Vienna (Austria), Budapest (Hungary) and Prague (the Czech Republic).

Recently, Edelweiss, Switzerland’s leading leisure airline, announced that it will open a direct air route connecting Zurich and Ho Chi Minh City. This is the first direct flight between the two countries, aiming to reduce travel times and create impetus for bilateral tourism and trade development.

Vietnam’s renowned tourism hotspots have become increasingly alluring for Swiss nationals. The carrier plans to bring 10,500 passengers to the Vietnamese southern hub every year. In 2017, Vietnam welcomed 32,000 Swiss arrivals and the figure is expected to rise 10 percent every year thanks to the direct flight.

The Czech Republic and Austria are potential markets for Vietnam’s tourism, therefore, it is crucial to focus more on promotion activities in those countries.

As Germany is deemed as a significant market, the Vietnamese tourism sector should accelerate marketing and promotion programmes to lure more German tourists, particularly the introduction of the country’s visa policy for five western European countries, including Germany.

From 2015, the Vietnamese Government decided to extend visa exemptions by an additional year for tourists from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. The policy will last until 2020 to attract tourists from those countries.

Spurred by visa exemption policy and tourism promotion campaigns, number of western European visitors to Vietnam surged rapidly.

In 2015, the country served 720,000 western European holiday-makers while the number increased to 1.5 million people in 2017.

In the first five months of this year, Vietnam welcomed 976,000 visitors from Europe, a year-on-year increase of 11.8 percent. -VNA