The tourism industry is regarded as an smokeless industry, holds an important position in the global economy and Vietnam is not an exception. As a new destination with natural resources and many foreign investment hotels and resorts, Vietnam tourism industry has developed rapidly in the past decade and has the potential to develop further in the coming time.
1. Tourism – impressive numbers
In 2015, Vietnam tourism industry has made remarkable achievements in terms of revenue, number of passengers and the improvement of infrastructure systems. Particularly, the country has received more than 7.94 million international passengers and served 57 million domestic tourists; the whole industry reached 402.66 trillion VND revenue, and has 18,800 accommodation places with 355,000 chambers.
According to the General Statistics Office, total industry revenue reached 402.66 trillion, contributing 9.6% to GDP and increased 5.75% compared to 2014. In particular, revenue from accommodation F&B services reached 372.24 thousand billion VND and revenues from travel services reached 30.41 trillion VND.
Vietnam tourism industry has consistently recorded growth of tourists, both domestic and international from 2010 to 2015. According to the General Department of Tourism, Private 2015, the country has received more than 7.94 million international visitors and serve 57 million domestic tourists, increased 48.1% and 0.9% respectively compared to 2014.
In terms of foreign tourists, the number of tourists coming from Northeast Asia region accounted for the highest proportion of international visitors to Vietnam. There are 1,781 thousand Chinese tourists travelling to Vietnam, accounting for 22.4% of international passengers to Vietnam in 2015; followed by South Korea (1,113 thousand passengers, representing 14.0%) and Japan (671 thousand passengers, accounting for 8.5%).
Vietnam Tourism 2015 also achieved positive outcome in the development of luxury infrastructure systems. According to the General Department of Tourism, in the end of 2015, there were 18,800 accommodation places with 355,000 chamber; of which the number of hotel 3-5 star hotels reached 747, increased 16.7% compared to 640 3-5 star hotels of 2014. In particular, there are 441 of 3-star hotel with 30.734 suites, 215 of 4-star hotel with 27.379 91 suites of 24.212 suites of 5 star hotel with suites.
HCMC – economic center and Hanoi – the capital are destinations which were highly selected by the tourists, especially for international tourists. By the end of 2015, HCMC has received 4.7 million international passengers, 19.3 million domestic visitors while Hanoi has served 3.4 million international tourists and 16.4 million domestic tourists.
The participation in TPP and AEC has brought Vietnam huge opportunities. Firstly, lessening legal conditions of investment and freedom of labor movement between the 12 countries help to increase demand for travel as investment opportunities, jobs combined with tourism; as well as density, size and type of international tourists such as combination of business travel – meetings (MICE)
Secondly, all the trade agreements has created favorable conditions for tourism industry to develop. The international visitors have the privileges to make procedures faster with affordable price by temporary commitments of business visitors under TPP agreement
Finally, 5/12 of TPP countries are on the top of ecologically diverse countries list which lead to the need of tightening the requirements on hygiene and environmental factors… Therefore, all of these factors and infrastructure will be improved as the implementation of commitments in the TPP. This promotes sustainability for tourism industry.
According to the many agencies the tourism industry has been facing many challenges.
As outdated infrastructure, lack of integrity leads to the fact that the accessibility of tourist destinations is limited, particularly mountainous areas. Lack of uniqueness, innovation in tourism products is also an issue that has not been able to be handled in Vietnam
In addition, there has been missing human resources to serve in the industry. Tourism activity still strongly depends on season, the quality of service during peak period is not guaranteed.
Besides, the budget for tourism promotion is still limited, particularly compare with other countries in the region; funding comes from mainly state budget. The promotional activities has not built professionally, promoting only image is not enough to attract tourists. Promotion only should focus on building brand and unique products. The budget for scientific research and application of science and technology in tourism industry is still limited.