Increasing tourist revenues

(VEN) – Tourism is becoming a key economic sector in some localities across Vietnam and its role is becoming more important for the country. Therefore, it is a pressing requirement to increase revenue from tourism in the short term.

Foreign tourists enjoy Vietnamese handicraft productsForeign tourists enjoy Vietnamese handicraft products

No decrease

No decrease and ceaseless development are outstanding features of Vietnam’s tourism industry in recent years. Not all strong countries in tourism could have recorded such a good performance like Vietnam.

Data showed that revenue from tourism increase from VND9.932 trillion in 2005 to VND26.391 trillion in 2012. The basic factor of this result is the continuously growing number of international visitors each year, from 3.477 million in 2005 to 6.848 million in 2012. Other factors contributing to the spectacular results of Vietnam’s tourism industry include the development of tourism infrastructure such as the hotel system, entertainment zones, telecommunication and traffic networks; the increasing number of Vietnamese cultural and natural heritage sites and historic sites recognized by international organizations. Foreign investment activities is also another factor that helps boost the tourism sector. After all, the basic foundation for the recent development of Vietnam tourism industry is the good socioeconomic development, making tourism an essential demand for dozens of millions of people every year.

High prices for good services

Looking from various angles, the service quality of Vietnam tourism is not expensive. According to data, the average spending of a foreign tourist in Vietnam in 2012 was only US$105.7 per day, including room booking, dining, moving expenses, sightseeing, shopping and medical expenses. Many people consider this spending very cheap compared with tourism expenses in Singapore, Japan, the EU and the US.

More specifically, only tourists from about 20 countries and territories spend from US$100 and more per person per day, leading by Japanese tourists (US$167.8) followed by Indonesians (US$160), Malaysians (US$142.2), the Koreans (US$131.6), the Thai (US$130) and the Swedish (US$123.6). However, the number of tourists coming from the above countries only accounted for over 30 percent of the total international tourists coming to Vietnam in 2012.

More notably, the spending proportion of over US$100 per day is as follows

– Room booking: about US$28.2 (26.7 percent)

– Dining expenses: about US$21.3 (20.2 percent)

– Moving expenses: US$18.6 (17.6 percent)

– Shopping US$15.5 (14.7 percent)

– Sightseeing US$7.9 (7.5 percent)

– Medical expenses US$1.1 (one percent)

– Other expenses US$13.1 (12.3 percent)

Therefore, to further increase revenue from tourism, Vietnam needs to advertises its tourism industry in markets with high spending levels. It also needs to raise the expenditure proportion in the categories of shopping, sightseeing, medical service, relax and convalescence and entertainment service in tourists’ structure of expenditure.

To realize this target, the tourism sector needs to invest more in new forms of tourism based on the obtained results. Meanwhile, the service quality needs to be improved to keep tourists stay longer, as well as encouraging them to return to Vietnam. Other measures would include abolishing disturbance on tourists, and ensuring safety for them anywhere and at any time.

Despite much efforts, the contribution of tourism sector to the national economy remains quite modest, estimated at only five percent of the GDP and has not matched its potentials. Therefore, functional agencies and localities with many tourism potentials should pay more attention to investment and the development of the domestic tourism industry./.

By Luu Tien Hai

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