VNAT: Attracting international tourists to Vietnam post COVID-19

Wednesday, 20/07/2022

      In the first six months of 2022, international tourists to Vietnam have increased rapidly thank to fully reopening the door from March 15 and reconnecting many international flight routes - Mr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) said in the conference to review activities of the first 6 months and implementation of tasks in the last 6 months of 2022.

A group of tourists from the US visit the Old Quarter of Hoi An on a three-day tour. It’s the first international visitor returning to Hoi An after a two-year block by COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Hoi An city’s centre for information and sports

     According to General Statistic Office, Vietnam welcomed 602 thousand international visitor arrivals in the first half of 2022. The number of international visitors to Vietnam in May doubled compared to April; in June increased 4 times to May; mostly from visa-exempt countries (Korea, UK, France, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia), and using e-visas (USA, Australia, India).

     However, the number of international arrivals is still low.

    The main reasons include: (1) some countries are still applying strict pandemic prevention policies. China implements a "zero COVID-19" policy, and has not yet opened up to international tourism. South Korea and Japan are also cautious in opening travel and tourism, (2) Russian-Ukrainian conflict and its consequences leading to a decrease in Russian tourist arrivals and impact on European outbound tourists..

     In order to realize the target of welcoming 5 million international visitors in 2022, VNAT’s Chairman Nguyen Trung Khanh said that it is focus on the markets that have re-connected airlines such as Korea, Japan, Europe, Australia, ASEAN; exploiting more markets like India, USA, Middle East, etc.

VNAT will coordinate with Vietnam Tourism Fund, local provinces, airlines to implement tourism promotion programs with the theme “Live fully in Vietnam” including tourism road shows in ASEAN, Korea, Japan, India, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand; participating in JATA - Japan in September, WTM -  London in November. Besides that, coordinate with airlines to design stimulus packages, organize famtrips and presstrips for travel agencies, media press from Europe, Korea and America. Vietnamese representative offices abroad need to promote the role of supporting the reconnection of Vietnamese tourism businesses with foreign partners after a period of interruption by COVID-19. E-marketing activities, digital transformation and technology application need to be enhanced to reach the markets more effectively.

For types of tourism, Golf tourism, MICE, wellness tourism, adventure tourism should be developed beside sea leisure, heritage and culture, nature tourism.

Other solutions will be implemented such as facilitating tourists in accessing destinations and connecting air routes, simplifying visa, immigration procedures; promoting international cooperation and connection in tourism promotion and communication; strengthening research, forecast, market development orientation...