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Vietnam working towards boosting arrivals

Officials in Vietnam are working hard to boost its flagging tourism industry, which has been impacted by a territorial dispute with China as well as Russia's economic slowdown. Key measures taken include, promotional campaigns and a reduction in the visa fees.

Vietnam working towards boosting arrivals

In an effort to boost arrivals to Vietnam from key source markets, officials have been putting steps in place including the launch of a new promotional video highlighting some of Vietnam's top attractions along with a bit of insight into the country's culture and people.

Notably the video, released by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was narrated in a range of languages including English, French, Russian, Spanish and German. The move comes as officials in Vietnam have been grappling with a drop in the number of travellers visiting Vietnam. The decline in arrivals has been attributed to Russia's economic crisis as well as the fallout of a territorial dispute with China, one of Vietnam's largest source markets, in the second half of 2014.

In addition to the promotional video, other efforts to market Vietnam to key source markets this year include increased marketing activities such as participation in tourism expos, roadshows and international advertising as well as the establishing of overseas tourism offices and improved service training.

Most notably, officials at the Ministry of Finance also recently announced a reduction in the visa fees for foreign nationals from $45 to $25 for single entries and from $95 to $50 for multiple entries. The reduction in the cost of the fees, which will take effect from the 23rd November 2015, comes after officials extended Vietnam's visa waiver programme in July to a total of 22 ASEAN and European countries. The move is said to be an effort to increase Vietnam's competitiveness in the region bringing its fees in line with its regional peers.

Arrivals in the first nine months of 2015 at 5.68 million represent a 5.9 per cent reduction year-on-year. Officials and key stakeholders recognize that there is a lot of ground to cover if the Southeast Asian country hopes to achieve its target of 8.5 million arrivals in 2015 and an 8 per cent annual growth. However, many are hopeful that the steps taken will reverse the protracted downward trend and inject new life into Vietnam's struggling tourism industry.

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