HSBC emphasized that tourism will be a new source of growth to alleviate some of the challenges this year, especially when Vietnam’s largest visitor market – China – has reopened.
Chinese tourists come to Cam Ranh on the morning of the 2nd day of the Lunar New Year. Photo: Xuan Hoat.
In its latest report, HSBC called tourism “a part of the salvation” for Vietnam’s economy this year. Amid trade difficulties, economists at the financial institution say tourism will be a key industry and a new source of growth.
In fact, after Vietnam reopened in March 2022, domestic tourism has recovered strongly, but international tourism, which accounts for 60% of tourism revenue, is not very active. The number of international visitors last year was only about 3.6 million, equivalent to 20% of the 2019 result.
“That underscores the significant potential for the services sector to continue to grow amid slowing global demand for goods,” HSBC said.
According to this unit, one of the reasons to expect a stronger recovery of the tourism industry is that China has reopened. Although the recovery may be gradual, the impact on the Vietnamese economy will be large in many ways.
HSBC analyzed that despite spending less than European and American tourists, Chinese tourists still spend more and stay in Vietnam longer than most Asian tourists. With a large proportion of Chinese tourists (30%), Vietnam can be a big beneficiary in the region, after Thailand, when receiving this “push”.
“If flight restrictions can be resolved and visa requirements are further eased, we believe the return rate of Chinese tourists will reach 50-80% of pre-epidemic levels (3-4.5 million turns), is a target within reach of Vietnam”, experts at HSBC forecast.
Importance of Chinese tourists in each ASEAN market. Source: CEIC, HSBC.
Records from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam show that Vietnam welcomed 2.3 million international passengers by air in the first month of this year, up 10% compared to December 2022 and significantly higher than the same period last year. However, of these, Chinese tourists still make up a minority, mainly visitors from Korea, Japan, the US, West Asia, Europe…
In this report, HSBC also believes that the tourism industry needs to explore new markets instead of being too dependent on China, with various initiatives such as implementing promotional programs to pave the way to access emerging markets such as India – a country with a growing footprint in Vietnam’s international tourism industry.
At the same time, the relaxation of the visa policy, along with the diversification of tourism products, can also help Vietnam increase its attractiveness to world tourists. HSBC suggests developing sports tourism, including golf tourism, as the goal of Hanoi city.
In 2023, the Government aims to attract 102 million domestic tourists and 8 million international tourists, with tourism revenue expected to increase by more than 30%, although still lower than 2019 levels.
A recent statistics from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism shows that the supply of high-end accommodation facilities is growing, with the number of 4-5 star standard establishments increasing by an average of 12% per year before the pandemic.
Currently, a number of global hotel chains are actively opening new facilities in Vietnam, such as La Festa Phu Quoc, Curio Collection by Hilton scheduled to open in the middle of this year, or Marriott International plans to add 9,000 rooms up from the current 3,300.
“With national ambitions and various development projects underway, the outlook for Vietnam’s international tourism industry remains fundamentally positive,” concluded HSBC.
@ Zing News