Tourism focus shifts to domestic market’s growing potential

06:00 | 06/06/2021 Culture & Tourism

(VEN) - Vietnam is still closed to international visitors, shifting the focus of the tourism business to the growth of a sustainable tourism industry based on the products and facilities developed in recent years for international tourism.

tourism focus shifts to domestic markets growing potential

Radical orientation

According to the Institute for Tourism Development Research, in the 2011-2019 period, the number of domestic tourists grew from 30 million in 2011 to 85 million in 2019. The strongest growth milestone of domestic tourists was 2015, with 57 million. Domestic tourists’ contribution to the industry’s total revenue more than doubled, from VND158 trillion in 2015 to VND334 trillion in 2019.

These figures indicate the growing potential of domestic tourism development. Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung explained that domestic tourism development was put on hold in recent years to take advantage of surging international tourism, but the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the entire industry to shift its focus back to domestic tourism development.

In the past, the tourism industry contributed 10 percent to the country's gross domestic product. However, since 2020, revenues declined significantly. In the first quarter of this year, the number of domestic tourists reached nearly 18 million, down 50 percent year on year. But due to the effective control of Covid-19, Vietnamese people are gradually regaining more confidence in traveling. This was reflected on National Reunification Day (April 30) and International Labor Day (May 1), offering new hopes for Vietnam's green economic sector.

tourism focus shifts to domestic markets growing potential

Tourism businesses are striving to provide distinctive products

Product innovation

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has identified two approaches to promote domestic tourism development. It advises travel businesses, tourist accommodation establishments and service providers to restructure their operations, shifting from hosting large groups to small, safe family groups.

It also advises developing tourism products based on historical relics, landscapes and indigenous cultures and promoting advertisement to bring tourism products closer to Vietnamese tourists. “Enterprises have to restructure, change approaches. Instead of focusing only on international visitors, now they need to welcome and serve domestic customers so that the Vietnamese guests will experience high-value products intended for foreign visitors,” said Minister Hung.

tourism focus shifts to domestic markets growing potential

Focusing on domestic tourism is a sustainable direction

In a recent survey by the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), more than 83 percent of respondents said they were ready to go traveling this summer. Hoang Nhan Chinh, Secretary General of the TAB, said that safety, flexibility, experience and comfort now attract customers more than discounts.

To keep up with the new market trends, Saigontourist has switched to short-term, or half-day packages and launched applications to provide customers with quick access.

Meanwhile, Lux Travel which manages Emperor Cruises, Heritage Cruises with experience tours in Nha Trang, Ha Long, Cat Ba is offering Vietnamese tourists resorts on five-star cruises at reasonable prices. “We are making efforts to increase experience and value for customers. Travel is now all destinations, experiences and memories. Customers should travel responsibly and tourism businesses will help them understand values and bring them joy,” company Chair Pham Ha promised.

Hoa Quynh