Travel firms in trouble after European countries halt visa applications

VOV.VN - Vietnamese travel companies specialising in the European market are having ants in their pants after some European countries, including Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic, refused to recognize holders of the new-style Vietnamese passports.

The new passports, which Vietnam began issuing on July 1, lack information regarding place of birth of the holder.

Without visas to be issued, visitors are not able to execute their tours of European nations, especially within the Schengen area. The move has caused a significant impact on Vietnamese travel firms that organise outbound tours to Europe.

Doan Thi Thu Huong, sale director of AsiaTravel, said her company has been heavily impacted by the announcement as the outbound tourism market has recently started showing signs of recovery after over two years of being negatively hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

AsiaTravel has been forced to change tour schedules to Europe for dozens of travelers holding the new passports by seeking new routes through Austria instead of Germany, Huong told VietnamNet newswire.

Pham Duy Nghia, director of Hanoi-based tour operator Vietfoot Travel, stressed that he was most concerned that the three governments' decisions could have a domino effect.

The move could potentially lead to other countries in the Schengen area moving to impose similar restrictions on the new Vietnamese passports, said the executive.

Ngo Van Thoa, director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Pan American Travel Company, said his company has been struggling since the German government's announcement.

Pan American Travel planned to organize a tour bound for Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Luxembourg slated for July 28, but it had to make last-minute changes to its itinerary for affected customers that hold the new passports.

This forced the company to change flight tickets and accommodation at the last minute, complained Thoa.

Bui Thanh Tu, marketing director of Best Price, stated that the company considered the option of reserving European tours with a schedule through Germany, Spain, or the Czech Republic for visitors until further notice.

In the event that travelers still want to go on the tours, Best Price will change the schedule from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to France instead of Germany.

France is one of the countries that has accepted the new style Vietnamese passports.

With the recent uncertainty, the economic damage to the company can be viewed as very serious, said Tu.

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