2016 - A fruitful year for tourism

13:48 | 09/01/2017 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - Vietnam’s Tourism Development Strategy to 2020 with a Vision to 2030 sets a target of welcoming 10 million foreign visitors by 2020, but the country is expected to reach this number in 2016, four years early.  

According to Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) General Director Nguyen Van Tuan, in 2016, the number of visitors from almost all tourism markets of Vietnam increased.

The number of visitors from West Europe has seen the highest growth of 20 percent. Tuan attributed the success to the government’s visa exemption policy. Vietnam is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors from the Republic of Korea (RoK) by the end of this year, while the RoK has become a very important tourism market of Vietnam. The number of RoK visitors to Vietnam for the first time exceeded one million in 2015.

Sector leaders said that tourism promotion contributed greatly to the success. Sixty percent of visitors searched information through the Internet, while 30 percent learned about tours through their relatives, and 10 percent got information from other sources, said VNAT Deputy General Director Ngo Hoai Chung.

In 2016, Vietnam carried out tourism promotion both inside and outside the country. Vietnamese travel companies prepared well before attending international tourism fairs like Travex, ITB Berlin and MITT, while introducing Vietnamese tourist offerings in many countries including India, China and Australia, welcoming famtrip delegations from West Europe, America and the RoK, and producing and announcing tourism promotion films.

2016 saw investment boom in luxury resort development. Many large-scale, high quality projects of such leading investors as Vingroup, Sungroup, FLC, Muong Thanh, Tuan Chau and Bitexco have helped improve considerably Vietnam’s tourism competitiveness.

Efforts of localities, especially key tourist centers like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Ninh, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Phu Quoc and Thanh Hoa helped the country’s tourism sector overcome its difficult period and maintain relatively high and stable growth. Thanh Hoa did a good job in restoring order in Sam Son. If order can be restored in such a difficult case like Sam Son, it can be restored in any other places with determination, the right solution, and consent of the people and businesses. Efforts should be non-stopping to ensure long-term efficiency, Tuan said.

The tourism industry has had strenuous efforts in implementation of important tasks: Construction and improvement of the Tourism Law amendment project for submission to the National Assembly, accomplishment of the Development of Tourism into a Spearhead Economic Sector project for submission to the government and the Politburo, implementation of tasks given by the Prime Minister at the national conference on tourism development, and implementation of the accommodation quality improvement campaign. The sector revoked ranking certifications of 23 substandard hotels.

During the year, the VNAT worked with relevant organizations and authorities to successfully hold activities of the 2016 National Tourism Year and prepare for the 2017 National Tourism Year. It also organized the International Conference on Tourism and Sports in the city of Da Nang within the framework of the fifth Asian Beach Games (ABG5), and developed projects to host ATF and Travex 2019. All has contributed to improving the quality of Vietnamese tourist offerings.

Thanh Tam