During the last several years, Vietnam’s hospitality sector has had positive incentives and prospects for further vigorous developments.
In 2018, Vietnam served nearly 15.5 million foreign visitors, up 19.9% year-on-year, and more than 80 million domestic travellers, earning VND620 trillion (US$26.66 billion) from tourism revenue. Also in 2018, the country was named “Asia’s Leading Destination” for the first time at the 2018 World Travel Awards in September.
|Foreign visitors to Hue ancient city dressed in royal costumes and enjoying royal dishes
More than nine million foreigners visited Vietnam during the first half of 2019, a rise of 9% against the same period last year, expecting to establish a new record in the number of international arrivals to the country.
The 18th ASEAN 3 Tourism Ministers Meeting held in Ha Long city, the north-eastern province of Quang Ninh in January has opened up new opportunities to develop ASEAN tourism and promote Vietnam as a beautiful, friendly and safe destination.
Under the Prime Minister-approved project on restructuring the tourism sector to turn it into a spearhead economic sector for the country, Vietnam targets to become one of the nations with the most developed tourism sector in Southeast Asia.
Specifically, the project has set a target of luring up to 32 million foreigners and 130 domestic holiday makers while earning US$45 billion in tourism revenue by 2025, with exports through tourism reaching US$27 billion. The sector is hoped to contribute more than 10% to GDP and create 6 million jobs, including 2 million direct jobs.
Local authorities have taken practical actions and drastic measures to maintain social order and ensure food hygiene and safety at tourist attractions in a joint effort to successfully realise the project.
More hearteningly, more and more groups, companies and strategic investors at home and abroad have shown their increasing interest and poured investment into Vietnam through the construction of hotels, resorts and tourist complexes, thus contributing to improving the infrastructure and human resource of the hospitality sector.
A number of key projects have been approved by the Prime Minister with a vision to foster tourism development, enhance the application of information technology in tourism activities, create a healthy environment for tourism businesses and communities, and raise the professionalism of Vietnam’s tourism industry.
These projects also seek to upgrade infrastructure and technical systems, improve human resources and efficiency of tourism promotional activities, and tighten State management on tourism.
Localities have worked out new products and services to provide visitors with a wider range of options and experiences during their stay in Vietnam, including shopping tourism, community-based tourism, ecotourism, sea-based tourism, and adventurous tourism.
More importantly, tourism activities have been coupled with the protection of the environment and natural resources, the preservation and promotion of traditional culture, for the benefits of the community.
Although Vietnam’s tourism potential is ranked 24th out of 141 countries, it is stood at 75th for tourism competitiveness and 89th for International Openness. Vietnam ranked at only 119th in terms of visa requirements, which is one of three International Openness’s indicators.
Under a Government-issued decree, which took effect on February 1, citizens from 40 countries are eligible for e-visas. A total of 16 border gates and nine ports in Vietnam will also allow foreigners to enter the country with e-visas.
The amendment and supplement to the list of foreign citizens eligible for e-visas and border gates that allow immigration by e-visas mark a new advancement in completing policies facilitating Vietnam’s tourism development in the context of international integration.