This year, the country is estimated to serve some 15.5 million-15.6 million foreign tourists and 80 million domestic travellers, generating VND620 trillion (US$26.66 billion) in tourism revenue.
The number of international tourist arrivals surged three-fold from 5 million in 2010 to over 15 million in 2018. The remarkable growth reflects the great efforts made by all players in the sector, particularly the large network of local travel agencies and strategic tourism investors nationwide.
The success has also been attributed to the large-scale and intensified efforts of tourism authorities to promote the country overseas. To aid such efforts, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) has adopted a system of indicators to evaluate a destination and a tourism code of conduct; designed various plans to strengthen the management of travel agencies and tour guides; and raised awareness of the importance of quality among tourism service providers, local administrations, and tourism authorities.
According to the VNAT, to meet the demands of visitors from different markets, Vietnam has developed a diverse range of tourism products that make use of the country’s advantages, including cultural tours, sea-based tours, eco-tours, adventure tours, luxurious resort vacations, and more.
In recent years, a range of popular holiday destinations like Ha Long, Phu Quoc, and Da Nang have helped develop the popular imagery of Vietnam, promoting the national tourism among international visitors and becoming the main drivers of the industry’s growth.
Also this year, the country has won a series of international awards, recognising it as a safe and friendly destination. Vietnam was named the “Asia’s Leading Destination” for the first time at the 2018 World Travel Awards in Hong Kong this September. Two months later, it was honoured with the title of “Asia’s best golf destination in 2018” at the Golf World Travel Awards.
In 2019, Vietnam expects to welcome some 103 million visitors, including around 18 million foreigners and 85 million domestic travellers, up 15 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from 2018.
Early December, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the establishment of a state-run tourism development fund, worth about VND300 billion (US$12.9 million), which will be used for building plans, financing tourism promotion activities, and boosting the tourism growth.
The PM has also given nod to a project which looks to restructure the industry in an attempt to turn it into a spearhead economic sector and make Vietnam one of the most developed tourism nations in Southeast Asia.
The project has set a target of 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. At the same time, it expects to serve 32 million foreign tourists and more than 130 million domestic visitors in 2025.