The number of foreign visitors to the country is 16 times higher than the same period last year, the data from General Statistics Office showed.
Total revenue from accommodation and catering services reached over 430 trillion VND in nine months, up over 54 percent year on year.
Traveling services raked in more than 18 trillion VND in revenues, 3.9 times higher than the same period last year, thanks to strong recovery of tourism activities, especially domestic tourism.
However, these figures are much lower than that the same time in 2019 before COVID-19 broke out.
Vietnam fully reopened borders to tourists from March 15. The country aims to welcome 5 million international arrivals this year, but the country may not reach goal of 5 million international visitors in 2022.
At a recent event, Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, General Director of the General Department of Tourism, said that in January-July 2022, international visitors to Vietnam reached 954,600, 10 times over the same period in 2021 but still 90.3% less than that of the time before the Covid-19 outbreak.
This was nearly 15% of the yearly plan, which aims to welcome 5 million international visitors.
Mr. Hoang Nhan Chinh, Head of the Secretariat of the Tourism Advisory Board (TAB), told VietNamNet this May that Vietnam needs to welcome over 650,000 visitors per month in the remaining months of the year in order to achieve the yearly target. However, this will be very difficult.
Mr. Cao Tri Dung, Chairman of the Da Nang Tourism Association, said that although the tourism industry has tried its best, Vietnam may only receive 2 million international visitors this year.
Explaining why the number of international tourists to Vietnam has not been high yet, General Director Nguyen Trung Khanh said the Russia-Ukraine conflict has affected the resumption of Vietnam – Russia flight routes. Also, most of the markets in Northeast Asia are still enforcing tough pandemic prevention and control measures.
Mr. Phung Quang Thang, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Travel Association, said that it is necessary to take 2019 as a milestone and target. Emphasizing the importance of foreign visitors, he said that revenue brought by 18.5 million foreign visitors is much larger than that from 85 million domestic tourists.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung said that in 2022, Vietnam’s tourism industry aims to serve 60 million domestic tourists. By the end of July, the figure was already over 71 million visitors. That shows the right direction of the tourism industry in focusing more on local tourists.
The Minister said that in the past, the spending of international visitors, according to incomplete statistics, was 1,500 USD per visitor in Thailand and less than 1,000 USD in Vietnam. High hopes are placed on international tourists, but it is difficult to say if the benefits will be higher.
Therefore, it is necessary to carefully consider which markets Vietnam should focus on.
There are many bottlenecks that need to be removed to promote the tourism industry, experts said.
The first is the visa policy. Mr. Nguyen Thien Phuc, Product Director of Vidotour Indochina Travel, suggested that management agencies have more open policies regarding visas, especially speeding up the issuance of e-visas. It is necessary to restore the visa policy used before the pandemic.
Mr. Cao Tri Dung said that some destinations in Vietnam have outstanding products, which compete well with destinations that have developed over the past 20-30 years, such as Bali (Indonesia) and Phuket (Thailand). However, they need more promotion.
Mr. Dung suggested promoting tourism online, especially when 70% of customers search for information before traveling. Localities need to build their own tourism database and connect it to platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok. A plan on digital transformation for the tourism industry is a must.
Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, Director of the Institute for Tourism Development Research, said that one of the problems of the tourism industry is the labor shortage, which is affecting the quality of tourism products as well as the level of visitor satisfaction.
Minister Nguyen Van Hung said that relevant agencies had met to deal with visa-related problems for international visitors. In the future, this will be cleared up. However, travel firms must be ready to prepare staff, tourism infrastructure, and tourism products to serve foreign visitors well, he said.
@ Vietnam News Agency/ Vietnamnet