Vietnam raises tourism stakes

HO CHI MINH CITY, 24 January 2017: Vietnam’s tourism sector is expected to earn an annual revenue of USD35 billion by 2020.

Vietnam tourism officials said they are concentrating on quality and the need to raise daily tourist spend rather than counting heads.

Vietnam had the fastest growth rate in tourism across ASEAN and while total arrivals just exceeded the 10 million mark it is now the main rival to Thailand as far as annual growth rates in tourism.

inside no 2A resolution issued by the Politburo, reported by Saigon Times, positioned tourism as the country’s spearhead economic sector over the next four years that is forecast to rise quickly to around 17 to 20 million international and 82 million domestic tourists over the next three years.

The resolution clarifies tasks and solutions for the sector to achieve the targets. They include making institutional and policy improvements, investment in infrastructure and tourism development promotion.

Over the next three years, relevant state agencies will build and implement a scheme to restructure tourism with a focus on the development of key products in coastal areas, islands and products linked to ecotourism and community-based products.

Vietnam is determined to challenge Thailand as the top leisure destination in ASEAN over the next 10 years. Electricity tariffs applicable to hotels and other lodging facilities will be lowered to the same level for factories to attract more investors. The government will issue appropriate land use tax rates for tourism projects.

In addition, Vietnam will relax entry visa procedures for international visitors.

The government in a related move said it would improve road safety on highways that tourists use by introducing clear signage and increasing police patrols to prevent speeding and dangerous driving.

Airlines are also encouraged to open new routes connecting Vietnam and key source markets for the tourism sector.

The country will call for investors to develop integrated tourism and service projects, shopping malls, and recreational centers in key localities.

In 2016, international visitors to Vietnam rose to 10 million, a 4.3-fold increase compared to 2001, and domestic tourists numbered 62 million, up 5.2 times over 2001.

Last year’s tourism revenue reached VND400 trillion (around USD17.7 billion), accounting for 6.8% of gross domestic product (GDP).

With 17 to 20 million foreign visitors and 82 million domestic tourists by 2020, the sector would contribute more than 10% to GDP.