November 17, 2023

[Sector Committee Spotlight] The Tourism & Hospitality Sector Committee (THSC)

The EuroCham Tourism & Hospitality Sector Committee (THSC) operates as one of EuroCham Vietnam’s 19 Sector Committees. Within this diverse landscape, we serve as the representatives of the international tourism and hospitality industry in Vietnam. Our membership encompasses a wide spectrum, ranging from hotels and tourism management firms to airlines and industry experts. Our primary focus revolves around advocacy, collaborating with key stakeholders such as government authorities, businesses, and organizations to champion improvements in Vietnam’s tourism environment.

 

In our capacity as the voice of the international tourism and hospitality industry in Vietnam, THSC has relentlessly worked since the reopening of international borders to support the recovery of Vietnam’s tourism sector. A significant milestone this year has been our successful advocacy for new immigration management regulations, which include:

  • Implementation of electronic visas for citizens from all countries and regions, with a duration extended from 30 to 90 days, valid for single or multiple entries.
  • Extension of the temporary residence period for citizens of 13 countries unilaterally exempted from visas by Vietnam to 45 days.

 

Currently, our top priority remains related to visa policy, as we advocate for expanding the visa exemption list to encompass all EU member states and introducing other short-stay visa exemptions to support forums, exhibitions, and sporting events.

 

Furthermore, our advocacy efforts encompass other critical priorities, including:

  • Addressing congestion at Vietnam’s international airports by advocating for dedicated lines for business class travelers, handicapped individuals, seniors over 70, and families with infants;
  • Enhancing destination marketing through strengthened collaboration between provinces; and
  • Promoting sustainable tourism by combatting beach erosion, preserving cultural heritage, and organizing recycling campaigns to reduce plastic usage.

 

In our advocacy journey, we collaborate closely with relevant stakeholders, including government authorities, businesses, and organizations, all working towards creating a more conducive tourism environment in Vietnam. In 2022, we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ho Chi Minh Department of Tourism, marking the beginning of a fruitful five-year collaboration. We have actively supported them in hosting events and sharing invaluable insights and expertise on the current state of the tourism sector.

 

On 23 August 2023, THSC convened a meeting with Binh Thuan authorities, including representatives from the Department of Culture, Sport & Tourism; the Department of Industry and Trade; the Department of Planning & Investment; the Department of Construction; and the Binh Thuan Tourism Promotion Center. This productive gathering explored various strategies to boost Binh Thuan tourism, including the introduction of retirement and medical tourism, addressing beach safety and erosion concerns, and fostering better collaboration between Binh Thuan and Ho Chi Minh City to attract more day trippers and weekend travelers. We are actively planning to formalize our commitment to this collaboration by signing an MoU with the Binh Thuan Department of Culture, Sport, and Tourism to encourage public–private partnerships.

 

THSC members actively communicate our advocacy messages through diverse channels, including conferences, forums, and television interviews. Chairman Mario Mendis and THSC member Martin Koener from the Anam recently conducted an interview with VTV, focusing on the current visa policy. Additionally, another THSC member, Mauro Gasparotti, shared insights on how tourism contributes to the recovery of the real estate sector.

 

If you are interested in becoming a part of THSC, we encourage you to reach out to Sector Committee Coordinator Ngoc Anh Pham at anh.pham@eurochamvn.org for more information. Join us in shaping the future of Vietnam’s tourism and hospitality industry!

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