09:12 | 20/08/2019 Cooperation
(VEN) - Vietnam has become a priority in France’s tourism development strategy, with some experts suggesting the number of Vietnamese tourists to France could double in the next few years.
Growth of Vietnamese tourism abroad
Vietnam considers France one of its priority tourist markets and vice versa. Tourism is an important industry in France, which welcomed more than 90 million visitors in 2018 and is expected to attract more than 100 million in 2019. French Ambassador to Vietnam, Bertrand Lortholary said France is constantly improving the quality of its products and services and simplifying visa procedures to attract more foreign visitors. France will be promoting tourism in Southeast Asia in general and Vietnam in particular, the ambassador said.
The number of Vietnamese visitors to France increased sharply to reach 100,000 in 2018, and the number of tourist visas granted by the French Embassy in Hanoi has increased 50 percent per year, on average.
Vietnamese traveled to numerous destinations throughout France. The Paris metropolitan area attracted almost 85,000 Vietnamese visitors earning revenues of EUR74 million in 2017 and 2018. The visitor satisfactoriness rate was 93.7 percent, while 64 percent of the visitors were returning guests in Paris.
The Paris Region Tourist Board will strengthen tourism promotion in Southeast Asia including Vietnam in 2020. Opportunities
France is also a promising origin market as Vietnam develops tourism into a spearhead industry and focuses on the potential of bigger spenders.
Vietnam has simplified visa procedures and extended length of stay for European visitors, while promoting foreign relations and modernizing its tourist infrastructure to international standards. This in addition to more-convenient air and ocean transport is providing favorable conditions for Vietnam to attract European visitors.
The two countries have signed tourism cooperation agreements designed to take advantage of their potential for tourist exchanges. So far, the bilateral tourist exchange remains incommensurate with its potential, as Vietnam attracts just 300,000 French visitors and France only 100,000 Vietnamese tourists annually.
In recent years, Vietnam has become a potential tourist market for many countries. Vu The Binh, Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association said the number of Vietnamese travelling abroad has grown 10-20 percent per annum to reach 10 million in 2018. Travel to the Republic of Korea increased 46 percent and to Japan 43 percent. France has become one of the most attractive destinations for Vietnamese. Vietnam and France should take action to double the number of Vietnamese visitors to France, Binh said.
Vietnam has proposed that France further simplify visa procedures to attract more Vietnamese visitors including those to the Paris metropolitan area. Binh said the Vietnam Tourism Association is willing to create favorable conditions and help enterprises bring visitors to France.
According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the number of visitors from the Asia Pacific
region is expected to continue its rapid growth, while the number of European visitors is expected to grow on a stable