HCMC identifies tourism as key driver

HO CHI MINH CITY, 19 June 2017: Ho Chi Minh City tourism sector is projecting VND170 trillion (USD7.5 billion) in annual revenue by 2020.

Saigon Times media reported that annual tourism revenue should account for over 11% of the city’s total gross domestic product.

The city is planning to develop tourism into a major economic driver exceeding other industries over the next five years. This year, the sector should achieve revenue of VND120 trillion (USD5.3 billion), a 16.5% rise over the previous year and well above the earlier-set goal of VND116 trillion (USD5.1 billion).

To achieve the target, the municipal government will develop agro-tourism, an oriental medicine quarter, walking streets, music roads and weekend markets.

The local government is investing heavily in upgrading access to Tan Son Nhat International Airport, and building new overpasses, tunnels and metro lines to ease congestion.

The city intends to improve the quality of water-based tourism  on the current routes of Binh Quoi and Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe, and develop new ones on various rivers and canals on the outskirts of the city.

The city offers an estimated 2,100 hotels and other lodging facilities with about 49,000 rooms, which are enough to accommodate more than 7.5 million international visitors a year.

There are 1,200 enterprises active in the tourism sector in the city, with nearly 5,000 tour guides.

Ho Chi Minh City welcomed more than 5.2 million foreign tourists in 2016, a rise of 10% against 2015, and served 21.8 million domestic visitors, up 10% year-on-year.