Vietnam affirms itself on tourism map

Vietnam’s tourism has experienced strong developments over the past years, affirming its new position on the global tourism map with high-class products and top-rated attractions.

Foreign tourists in Vietnam (Photo: SGGP)

With natural advantages, various historical and cultural relic sites, and an abundant young workforce, the Southeast Asian nation has favourable conditions to turn tourism into an important economic spearhead sector.

The industry is growing towards modernity and professionalism, as reflected through the network of 3,921 travel firms that provide international services, 37,331 certified tour guides, and about 38,000 lodging facilities nationwide.

After the freeze induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, the sector is bouncing back, with 3.5 million international tourists, 101 million domestic holidaymakers, and some US$21 billion in revenue recorded in 2022.

Vietnam has been honored by the World Travel Awards as the region’s and the world’s top destination in nature, culture, cuisine and golf, as well as sustainable development.

Apart from international awards, many media outlets, magazines and websites like Travel Lemming and Travel Off Path have also spotlighted Vietnam’s tourism, helping promote its nature, culture, cuisine and people to international friends

Tourism has proven itself as a boon for the national economy with various achievements gained last year. Specifically, the number of international visitors hit 12.6 million, surpassing the initial target by 57 percent and meeting the adjusted one of 12-13 million. Meanwhile, domestic vacationers reached 108 million, exceeding the yearly plan by 6 percent, and the total tourism revenue was VND678 trillion (US$26.65 billion ), outpacing the target by 4.3 percent.

According to the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism (VNAT), the country served 8.8 million international tourists in the first half of this year, up nearly 60 percent year-on-year, and more than 4 percent from the pre-pandemic level in 2019, along with 66.5 million domestic visitors. The industry generated VND436.5 trillion in revenue, representing a 1.3-fold rise as compared with 2023 and 2019.

Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City saw marked increases in both the number of tourists and revenue during the reviewed period.

Although June is not the peak time for international tourism, Vietnam still welcomed 1.2 million foreigners during the month, a rise of more than 5 percent against the 2019 figure, which the authority called a rosy sign of the market and would create momentum for the peak season from October to April.

The country expects to serve 17-18 million international tourists and 110 million domestic holidaymakers, and pocket some VND840 trillion from the industry this year.

Experts, however, pointed to a host of challenges to the sector, notably limitations in product quality and planning, and lax tourism management. Given this, they suggested the enhancement of promotion activities to achieve the 2024 target and develop a harmonious sector.

Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ho An Phong stressed that the promotion work must be done continuously to maintain its effectiveness, suggesting a focus on potential markets like the US, India and the UAE.

Experts have also noted that national tourism should go in association with global and regional tourism and situation, as well as innovation and digital transformation.

Besides, localities need to closely coordinate with businesses to raise their position and competitiveness, offer new and unique products, develop high-quality personnel, and invest more in infrastructure, they said.

With such efforts, the tourism sector is expected to become an economic spearhead sector, while contributing to promoting development cooperation, cultural exchange, international integration and friendship.

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