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Vietnam tourism: An up-and-down journey is gradually recovering03/08/2022
For the last 62 years, Vietnamese tourism industry has been through all the ups and downs with many imprints and colors. Successfully overcoming the “COVID storm” and eventually, the green economy is recovering strongly.
Vietnam’s tourism has just gone through a rough time with impressive growth achievements with world-honored awards (from 2015-2019) but soon fell to the bottom with the pandemic. However, the country’s green economy after officially opening after COVID-19 (March 15th, 2022) has initially recovered and developed strongly. This could be the most remarkable and spectacular journey in Vietnam’s tourism industry in 62 years of history (July 9, 1960 – July 9, 2022).
Most favorite travel destinations
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the competitiveness of Vietnam’s tourism went up by 12 places, from 75th in 141 in 2015 to 63rd in 140 economies in 2019. This is a very encouraging success for Vietnam’s tourism industry in the period 2015-2019.
[How are countries adapting to the new context of global tourism?]
During this same period, the number of international visitors to Vietnam increased 2.3 times from 7.9 million (in 2015) to 18 million (in 2019), achieving an average growth of 22.7% per year – the level top ranking in the world according to the annual reports of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Especially in 2019, the growth of international visitors to Vietnam reached 16.2%, far exceeding the global average (3.8%) and the Asia-Pacific region (4.6%). Also this year, Vietnam overtook Indonesia and ranked 4th in Southeast Asia (after Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore) in terms of international arrivals.
Meanwhile, domestic visitors increased 1.5 times from 57 million arrivals in 2015 to 85 million arrivals in 2019, an average growth of 10.5% per year. Total revenue from tourists increased 2.1 times from 355 thousand billion VND (in 2015) to 755,000 billion VND (in 2019); the local export value of tourism (total revenue from international tourists) increased from 9 billion USD to 18.3 billion USD, an average increase of 20.9% per year.
Direct contribution from tourism to GDP is also increasing: 6.3% (2015); 6.9% (in 2016); 7.9% (in 2017); 8.3% (in 2018) and 9.2% (in 2019), showing that tourism is gradually becoming a key economic sector according to the target of Resolution 08-NQ/TW dated 16/01/2017 of The political.
The impressive development speed has contributed to reflecting the increasing position of Vietnam’s tourism, becoming an attractive destination in the eyes of international friends, and has been honored by prestigious international organizations and press with many awards. prestigious award.
Most notably, the World Travel Awards, which are likened to the Oscars of the global tourism industry, honored Vietnam as World’s Leading Heritage Destination (2019); World’s Best Golf Destination (2019); Asia’s top destination (2018, 2019); Asia’s Leading Cultural Destination (2019); Asia’s Leading Culinary Destination (2019).
Along with that, there are many prestigious regional and international awards for hotels, resorts, tourist attractions, restaurants, travel companies, and airlines… in Vietnam.
Most recently, Da Nang, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City are three representatives of Vietnam present in the category of 10 best cities in Southeast Asia in the Travel Awards of the famous travel magazine Travel+Leisure (America).
Besides 3 vibrant cities, two beautiful islands of Vietnam, Phu Quoc, and Con Dao, also appear in the category of the top 10 islands in Southeast Asia (The best island in Southeast Asia). It can be said that the impressive growth results and a series of prestigious awards achieved in the period 2015-2019 have painted brilliant colors for the picture of Vietnam’s tourism.
Efforts to overcome the “storm”
In early 2020, amid the time when Vietnamese tourism achieved impressive growth in tourism indicators, it seemed that it would open a new and exciting period when the “storm” of COVID-19 broke out globally. , causing all activities of the tourism industry to stop and fall into a “freeze.”
In the past two years, the pandemic has pushed world tourism, including Vietnam into the “abyss”: The market and activities have completely broken down, stalled, the indicators have fallen seriously, and the growth of people zero is even negative.
From the end of March 2020, Vietnam had to “close the door” to prevent the epidemic, so the number of visitors decreased by 80% compared to 2019, reaching only 3.7 million; domestic tourists decreased by 34% over the same period in 2019, reaching 56 million arrivals; total revenue from tourists decreased by 59%, reaching 312,200 billion VND.
Tourism targets in 2021 continue to decline more dramatically. In the whole year, the number of international arrivals reached only 14,900; the number of domestic tourists reached 40 million; total revenue from tourism is only 180 trillion dongs. At that time, up to 90-95% of tourism businesses had to stop operating or cut most of their staff, and workers were forced to change jobs; Most cultural, sports, and tourism events in localities must be postponed, focusing on disease prevention.
Tourism has experienced unprecedented difficulties in history, requiring policies to remove difficulties and develop orientations and solutions in time and the right direction.
In that context, the whole country implemented Resolution 128/NQ-CP of the Government on “Safely adapting, flexibly and effectively controlling the COVID-19 pandemic” while implementing general supportive policies. In particular, many specific support policies for the tourism industry have contributed to removing difficulties for tourism businesses and workers such as: reducing the deposit of travel service business by 80% by the end of 2023 and reducing travel time by 80%. deposit refund period for tour operators (from 60 days to 30 days), 50% reduction of appraisal fee for travel business license, fee for assessment and issuance of tour guide card, support for the electricity price reduction, reduce electricity bills for tourist accommodation establishments directly involved in epidemic prevention and control and affected by COVID-19. Support tour guide 3,710,000VND/person.
Many localities have also issued policies to exempt and reduce entrance fees, reduce land rents, delay loan repayment, provide loans to pay workers, or support domestic tourism stimulus.
Tourism is recovering strongly
Following those efforts of consensus and determination, as well as drastic actions by the central tourism management agency to orient and accompany localities, businesses, and official domestic and international tourism activities, the government decided to fully reopen tourism activities on March 15th, 2022.
As a result, in the first 6 months of 2022, Vietnam’s tourism has welcomed 413 thousand international tourists; serving 60.8 million domestic tourists; total revenue from tourists is estimated at 265 trillion VND. Data from Google shows that Vietnam is continuously among the top destinations in the world in terms of growth in tourism information search (from 50% to 75%).
In particular, according to the latest report of the World Economic Forum, the development capacity index of Vietnam’s tourism in 2021 ranked 52nd, up 8 places compared to 2019, among the 3 countries with the highest level of tourism. the best improvement in the world.
Although there has been a strong recovery and development, at the conference to review the first 6 months of the year yesterday (July 6th), Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Mr. Doan Van Viet also frankly pointed out the difficulties and limitations that the tourism industry is facing in terms of tourism infrastructure, especially aviation, which is showing signs of overload, and the shortage of tourism human resources affects the quality of tourist service.
Therefore, Mr. Viet suggested that the National Administration of Tourism in the last 6 months of the year focus on preparing well for the National Conference on Tourism (expected in early 2023) and emphasized the need to set long-term orientations, a long-term vision for the development of Vietnam’s tourism industry.
The Deputy Minister requested the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism to closely coordinate with the Tourism Development Support Fund to deploy and accelerate activities to promote and promote the image and brand of Vietnam’s tourism to the international market; ensure the completion of the task of formulating the tourism system planning for the period 2021-2030, with a vision to 2045; research and build new models of tourism development such as regional development linkage model, sea island tourism development, community tourism.