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Vietnam aims to gain $35 billion from tourism in 2020


To pull in more foreign tourists, the country looks to relax visa procedures and implement 'open sky' policies.

Vietnam has set a target of developing its tourism industry to reach revenue of $35 billion in 2020, according to a resolution issued by the countrys top decision-making body, the Politburo.

The country raked in VND400 trillion ($17.6 billion) from tourism in 2016 and hopes to achieve revenue of $20.2 billion from the sector this year. It aims to welcome 17-20 million foreign visitors in 2020, up from more than 10 million in 2016.

The sector is expected to contribute 10 percent of the countrys gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020, up from 7.5 percent last year.

By 2030, Vietnam will strive to become the leading destination in the region, the resolution said.

One of several measures needed to develop tourism in the coming years is to simplify visa policies to attract more foreign tourists to Vietnam, according to the Politburo.

Visitors from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., Japan and South Korea can already visit Vietnam for 15 days without a visa.

Hoping to give the tourism industry a bigger push, the Vietnamese government has approved an online visa system for travelers on short holidays or casual business visits.

Another vital measure is to implementopen skypolicies, which will allow more foreign airlines to fly to Vietnam.

The body also set a target of handling the countrys overloaded airports, a situation that has become worse in recent years.

Tourism authorities are expecting to receive 11.5 million foreign arrivals this year, up 15 percent from 2016.

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