With the recovery of domestic tourism, Vietnam strives to welcome 5 million foreign tourists

Despite severe Covid-19 pandemic impacts, in the first 6 months of 2022, Vietnam’s tourism industry has started to witness a revival.
Vietnam's domestic tourism is gradually recovering. (Photo: Kim Lien)
Vietnam's domestic tourism is gradually recovering. (Photo: Kim Lien)

Domestic tourism boom

Data from the General Statistics Office (Ministry of Planning and Investment) show that, in the first 6 months of 2022, Vietnam witnessed a boom in domestic tourism, with the number of visitors reaching 60.8 million (almost 1.4 times higher than in the same period in 2019, before the pandemic). Many tourist centers were filled with guests, and the occupancy rate of rooms reached 90-95%.

The most searched destinations include: Ho Chi Minh City, Kien Giang, Hanoi, Lam Dong, Khanh Hoa, Da Nang, and Ba Ria - Vung Tau. Alongside those, some tourist destinations with growth rates of over 75% are Ha Long, Sam Son, Dong Hoi, Cua Lo, Hai Phong, Ninh Binh, etc.

According to the GSO, due to the high demand for entertainment and tourism in the summer, the revenue of the hospitality and food service industry in the first 6 months increased by nearly 21% over the same period last year.

Google Destination Insights evaluated that the number of searches for domestic tourism as of May 2022 increased by 487% over the same period and continued to increase to 669% in June 2022. This is a very positive sign for tourism in the summer and contributes to the rapid recovery of domestic tourism.

The positive results from domestic tourism in recent years have contributed to the strong recovery of the aviation industry. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Vietnam's domestic aviation market is recovering at the fastest rate in the world, with a growth rate of 123% over the same period in 2019.

Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) announced that in the first 10 days of June, the average number of passengers at the airport reached 89,000 passengers/day (about 80,000 of which were domestic visitors). On weekends, the number increased to more than 95,000 passengers/day.

Compared to Summer 2019, the number of domestic visitors at Noi Bai Airport during this season reached over 30%, exceeding the April 30 - May 1 holiday by 15%.

Nikkei Asia also reported that, with the effective control of the pandemic, the rate of vaccine coverage and the reopening of the economy, Vietnam went up 48 places to rank 14th in the world's COVID-19 recovery index.

Ha Van Sieu, Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism (Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) said that the whole industry has regained the spirit and form of a rising economic sector. Service facilities and tourist destinations have become crowded again.

In 2022, Vietnam aims to achieve the goal of welcoming 5 million international tourists. (Photo: Instagram)
In 2022, Vietnam aims to achieve the goal of welcoming 5 million international tourists. (Photo: Instagram)

Reaching the goal of 5 million foreign visitors

In June 2022, Vietnam welcomed 236,700 international tourists.

In the first half of 2022, foreign visitors to Vietnam only reached 602,000, 6.8 times higher than the same period last year, but still less by nearly 93% compared to the same period in 2019, when there was no Covid-19 pandemic.

For example, in the first 6 months, Ho Chi Minh City welcomed 11 million domestic visitors but only 478,000 foreign visitors. An Giang only welcomed 700 foreign visitors, 36% less compared to the same period.

In 2022, Vietnam aims to welcome 5 million foreign visitors. That means for each of the remaining months, Vietnam needs to welcome an average of 650,000 visitors.

According to Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), in order to reach that goal, it is necessary to make use of markets that have reconnected aviation such as Korea, Japan, Western Europe, Australia, and ASEAN. Then, focus on exploiting new, growing markets such as India, the USA, and the Middle East.

VNAT will connect and coordinate with localities, businesses, airlines and the Tourism Development Support Fund to implement the "Live fully in Vietnam" campaign, which includes 5 main points:

Firstly, to have plans of introducing Vietnam’s tourism in ASEAN, Korea, Japan, India, Western Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Secondly, to take part in Vietnamese tourism booths and promotional activities at the Tourism Expo Japan (September 2022, Japan) and the World Travel Market (November 2022, London).

Thirdly, to coordinate with airlines to administer stimulus packages which are applied to routes that attract tourists to Vietnam.

Fourth, to organize a survey in Vietnam for travel agencies and newspapers from Europe, Korea, and the US; strengthening the role of Vietnamese representative offices abroad in supporting the reconnection of Vietnamese tourism businesses with foreign partners after being cut off by COVID-19.

Lastly, to promote marketing activities, digital transformation, and increasing technology application to reach the market more effectively.

VNAT Chairman Nguyen Trung Khanh said that the solution to promoting tourism lies in the orientation and coordination of the National Administration of Tourism. Focus should be put on mobilizing and effectively using resources for tourism promotion and advertising; significantly strengthening the role of the Tourism Development Support Fund which has just been put into operation is also needed.

Simultaneously, it is necessary to promote connection and public-private cooperation, attract the participation of localities, the tourism business community, and have airlines synchronously apply tourism promotion activities. Innovate and diversify methods of tourism promotion; promote the application of information technology and digital transformation in activities that advertise and promote tourism, Khanh stated.

Ms. Tran Thi Van (Bac Ninh's National Assembly delegation) pointed to the visa-free solution as a way to achieve the goal of welcoming 5 million foreign visitors.

Se noted that the current trend among tourists is to choose destinations with a high degree of visa openness Vietnam now exempts visa for 13 countries outside the ASEAN region, while Thailand is exempting 65 countries and up to 60 days for multiple entries.

"Vietnam needs to expand its policy through the visa exemption policy, which increases the visa exemption period from 15 days to 30 days. In addition, it is necessary to simplify the issuance of e-visa and visas at border gates," Van said.

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(Translated by Quang Dao)