New drivers and expectations for VN’s tourism industry
In 2018, the sector welcomed approximately 15.5 million arrivals of visitors, up 19.9% against 2017, while serving more than 80 million arrivals of domestic visitors, with the total revenue reaching over VND620 trillion (US$26.66 billion).
It was also the third consecutive year that Vietnamese tourism was promoted on the world tourism map. For the first time ever, Viet Nam won the “Asia’s Leading Destination” award at the 2018 World Travel Awards (WTA) in Asia and Oceania.
In the first half of 2019, Viet Nam welcomed more than nine million international tourist arrivals, up 9% year on year, promising a year with a new record in terms of international tourist attraction.
In particular, the annual ASEAN Tourism Ministers’ Meeting was successfully organized in early this year in Ha Long city, Quang Ninh province, which has been bringing new changes in developing the ASEAN tourism product chain and advertising Viet Nam as a beautiful, friendly and safe destination.
Under the Government-approved project “Restructuring the tourism industry to meet the requirements of developing it into a key economic sector”, Viet Nam strives to be a leading nation in Southeast Asian in terms of tourism development by 2025, welcoming and serving 30-32 million arrivals of international visitors and over 130 million domestic tourist arrivals. As targeted, the total revenue from tourists will reach US$45 billion and the export value through tourism hits US$27 billion.
The tourism industry will contribute over 10% of GDP and create six million jobs, including two million direct jobs, with 70% of the employees being trained and equipped with tourism expertise and skills.
The motivation and expectation to make Vietnamese tourism develop faster have been boosted by the trend of more and more domestic and international corporations, companies and strategic investors increasing their investment in constructing hotels, resorts and high-class tourist sites, directly contributing to improving infrastructure and human resources in the spirit of the “Viet Nam tourism development strategy until 2020, with a vision to 2030” and the “Viet Nam tourism development strategy until 2030, with a vision to 2050”, in association with the key projects of Viet Nam’s tourism sector that have just been approved by the Prime Minister.
In addition, the new motivation and expectation for the tourism industry have also come from the need to expand the direct issuance of electronic visas (E-visas) to foreign nationals (currently to 40 countries) and allow foreigners to enter and exit via E-visas through national border gates (currently applied to 28 border gates) in accordance with Vietnamese law, with low visa application fees and long enough validity.
Viet Nam is ranked 24th out of 141 countries in terms of tourism resources, but only ranked 75th concerning global tourism competitiveness, 89th regarding the level of international opening and 119th as for visa requirement (Viet Nam currently allows visa exemption for citizens from 22 countries, compared to 61 in Thailand, 155 in Malaysia, 158 in Singapore and 169 in Indonesia).
By Vien Nhu
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