Webinar seeks to attract Spanish tourists to Vietnam hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A webinar was held on October 8 to discuss ways attracting Spanish tourists to Vietnam in new normal, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.

The event was organised by the Institute for Tourism Development Research (ITDR) under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

Speaking at the event, ITDR Deputy Director Do Thi Thanh Hoa said in recent years, over 20 million Spanish people have travelled abroad, or half of its population. However, their arrivals in Vietnam remain modest, reaching 70,000 – 80,000 from 2016-2019.

As the European country has controlled the pandemic, its people wish to resume travelling so that Spain will be a target market of Vietnam in the near future, she said.

Deputy head of the ITDR’s tourism market research and planning office Nguyen Quang Vinh said since 2018, Vietnam has unilaterally offered 15-day visa waiver to tourists from Western Europe including Spain.

In October 2018, the VNAT also held a programme to introduce Vietnam’s tourism in Spain’s capital city of Madrid.

He suggested learning about changes in travel trend among Spanish visitors following the pandemic to effectively attract them to the country.

According to the ITDR, the number of Spanish tourists to Vietnam rose continually from 2011-2019. They mostly like Vietnam’s traditional food and handicrafts.

Statistics from the VNAT showed that there are about 17,000 tour guides for foreign tourists nationwide, but only 1.6 percent of them speak Spanish, predominantly in major cities and provinces.

Experts proposed increasing visa exemption for Spanish visitors from 15 days to 30 days and increasing night tours to boost tourism receipts and prolong their stay./.