The first half of this year has been one of the most remarkable
periods in the history of Vietnamese tourism, a senior official said yesterday.
Nguyen Van Tuan, director of the Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT),
said at a press conference that the number of foreign tourists visiting the
country in the first six months crossed 6,200,000, a 30.2 per cent increase over
the same period last year.
The number of domestic tourists during the period was 40.7 million.
Total income from tourism activities reached approximately VND254,700 billion
(US$11.17 billion), a 27 per cent increase over the same period last year.
South Koreans, Japanese and Chinese accounted for 50 per cent of the total
number of foreign tourists, he said.
Places like Da Nang City, the central province of Quang Nam, the northern
province of Quang Ninh and the central provinces of Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen and Binh
Dinh saw the highest-ever number of tourists in the first six months.
In Da Nang alone, as many as 3.2 million people visited the city, with the
number of foreign tourists rising by 72 per cent year on year, thanks to a
series of attractive events including the International Fireworks Festival
lasting nearly two months.
According to the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017 compiled by the
World Economic Forum, Viet Nam rose eight places in just one year to rank 67th
in the world.
“The main drivers of the country’s T&T competitiveness are its natural resources
(34th), cultural resources (30th) and price competitiveness (35th). Viet Nam has
made significant progress on its human resources and labour market pillar (37th,
up 18 places) scores, thanks to a better-qualified labour force (53rd) and
partially simplified regulations on hiring foreign labour (75th)”, the report
The impressive growth of the sector “reflects the brightness painting the whole
economy”, Tuan said.
He said that though the agency did not have concrete figures on the number of
tourists and income earned tourism in central provinces that suffered from mass
fish deaths last year as a result of the Formosa company’s pollution of sea
waters in Ha Tinh Province, tourism in the area has completely recovered from
Tuan also said that political stability in the country has lured international
guests while certain changes in the awareness of Vietnamese people have
motivated them to visit domestic destinations more than foreign ones.
Easier procedures in applying for visas to Viet Nam for foreign tourists, as
well as visa exemptions for guests from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain
have also helped attract more tourists from these markets, he said.
Despite the impressive achievements, the sector continued to face the
long-standing challenges of a lack of skilled human resources, especially in
rapidly-growing destinations like Phu Quoc Island in southern province of Kien
“In some destinations, trash has caused serious pollution, there have been
robberies here and there, some cases of food poisoning have been recorded and
traffic safety is still a burning issue for tourism managers,” said Vu Quoc Tri,
a VNAT official.
Talking about tasks in the remaining six months of the year, Tuan stressed the
need to complete regulations for implementing the revised Tourism Law that will
take effect on January 1, 2018.
“The law will be centered around tourists’ benefits, and focused on promoting
community tourism products, enhancing tourism profits for the local community
and establishing a fund for supporting tourism development from the State
budget, visa fees, and other tourism fees,” he said.
The VNAT’s annual awards ceremony will be held at the Ha Noi Opera House on July
8, it was announced at the press briefing.
The agency will give awards to top ten international and domestic travel
agencies in the country; top 10 five-star, four-star and three-star hotels; top
ten restaurants; top 7 destinations, top five resorts, top ten golf courses; the
airlines with the most tourists and airlines with the most rapid growth in the
VNAT officials also inform the press about the 13th International Travel Expo to
be held in HCM City between September 7 and 9. The event will gather 300
exhibitors, 50 communication partners from all over the world and is expected to
attract 35,000 visitors.
Bui Ta Hoang Vu, director of HCM City Tourism Department, said that the event
attracted 26,000 visitors last year, and facilitated more than 3,600 meetings
between buyers and sellers of tourism products and services..