Vietnam tourism flourishing, seeking bigger spenders

11:10 | 25/01/2018 Travel

(VEN) - Vietnam’s tourism sector fulfilled the target of welcoming 13 million international visitors in 2017. In particular, the successful organization of APEC 2017 events, including a summit of world leaders and leading economic and business figures contributed to firming this trend.

vietnam tourism flourishing seeking bigger spenders
Vietnam’s landscape provides tourists with new experiences

Enhanced image

Vietnam’s tourism sector ended 2017 on a high, after fully fulfilling the tasks assigned by the prime minister.

Hoang Nhan Chinh, head of the Tourism Advisory Board secretariat, said the number of foreign visitors grew 30 percent in 2017. According to the government’s assessment of Vietnam’s economy, services contributed the most to the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2017, of which domestic trade and international travel were the main driving forces. “This is a valid assessment of the contribution and importance of tourism in national economic development,” Hoang Nhan Chinh said.

The impressive growth of the tourism sector in 2017 was attributed to various factors, in particular, the successful organization of APEC 2017 events that raised awareness of the country’s standing among the 21 member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Nguyen Tien Dat, deputy director of the TransViet Travel Co., Ltd, said that through APEC 2017, Vietnam confirmed its capacity to organize major, large-scale international events. With the presence of many investors and businesses in the world at APEC 2017 conferences, seminars and other events, Vietnam was provided opportunities to promote trade, investment and tourism.

vietnam tourism flourishing seeking bigger spenders
The number of tourists to Vietnam is growing

Attracting big spenders

Vietnam is considered a unique and different tourism destination thanks to its landscape and diversity in terms of culture, customs and traditions, which have been shaped and practiced across the nation for thousands of years.

However, the country has not focused sufficiently on diversifying its potential tourism source markets. Vu The Binh, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said China and the Republic of Korea are two of Vietnam’s leading tourism origin markets, while numerous potential markets such as the US, Europe, Japan, Western Europe and India are lagging.

Nguyen Tien Dat said China is Vietnam’s leading tourism origin market, but spending of those tourists is always low at just US$640 per visitor, while those from Europe and North Asia often spend more than US$1,000 each. If the country keeps focusing on quantity only, tourism revenues will remain limited, Nguyen Tien Dat noted.

According to Hoang Nhan Chinh, the tourism sector should focus on developing potential high-spending tourism markets, such as the countries of Europe, North America, Australia, Russia and North Asia. In addition, the sector should diversify tourism products and develop its infrastructure.

Tourism experts also recommend improving visa policy, extending to 30 days the visas issued to tourists from countries such as Russia, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Republic of Korea and Japan. In addition, to providing more favorable conditions for international tourists, the government should also list the ban on foreigners with visa exemptions from returning to Vietnam within 30 days.

The tourism sector should develop evaluation criteria for tourist attractions, and strengthen tourism management in order to enhance the image of Vietnam as a safe and attractive destination. Strengthening management of tourist attractions contributes to fundamental improvement of professionalism and service quality, while ensuring environmental sanitation in tourist attractions.

Vu The Binh, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said Vietnamese tourism must devise ways to ensure sustainable development and encourage tourists to visit more than once.

Hoa Quynh