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Vietnam’s tourism takes off, but still cannot fly high

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Vietnam’s tourism ranks 47th in the world and 15th in Asia. However, there is still a big gap between Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries. 

Vietnam's tourism ranks the 47th in the world 


The national tourism development strategy by 2030-2050 compiled by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) calls for tourism to be a key economic sector by 2030, boosting the development of other industries and local economies. 

It also calls for Vietnam to be among top 3 most developed tourism markets in Southeast Asia.

VNAT’s general director Nguyen Van Tuan said Vietnam tourism has developed quickly recent years with the targets for 2020 having been fulfilled by 2017. In the first nine months of this year, Vietnam received 11.6 million foreign travelers, an increase of 22.9 percent compared with the same period last year. The figure is expected to reach 15.7 million by the year end.

As the number of travelers is on the rise, the revenue from tourism has increased with the annual growth rate of 25 percent per annum in 2011-2017. The total revenue was VND417.3 trillion in 2016 and reached VND541 trillion in 2017, where tourism made up 7.9 percent of GDP.

However, the head of the tourism administration agency admitted that many problems still exist and tourism development is still not commensurate with the potential.

“Vietnam still doesn’t have special impressive products which have high added value, while the comparative prices in some services are still high. The competitiveness is not high in tourism quality and tourism promotion,” Tuan said.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, CEO of Vietravel, also said at a workshop held by VNAT that Vietnam’s tourism value chain ‘has problems’, and the added value created from tourism activities is modest while potential cannot be fully exploited.

“Vietnam is not a strong tourism brand in the region,” he commented.

Bloom Consulting recently put Vietnam in the 47th position in the global ranking and 15th in Asia ranking. However, there is still a big gap between Vietnam and other Southeast Asia countries.

An analyst said that Vietnam tourism has ‘taken off but still cannot fly high’, meaning that Vietnam still cannot gain impressive achievements despite great potential.

Nguyen Trung Thanh, CEO of Golden T Travel, said that the development of tourism depends on the national strategy. The government needs to set up consistent policies on tourism development programming so as to allocate resources in a reasonable way.

Pham Trung Luong, former deputy head of the Tourism Development Institute, also said that development strategy will determine action plans. The number of tourists Singapore received in 2016 was just half of Thailand, but the revenue was higher, which showed that the high-end market segment brings high economic efficiency. 


Source: VNN

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