Vietnam needs extra efforts to achieve five million foreign visitor target in 2022
These two important markets are unlikely to recover in short term, with the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict and China's strict COVID-19 containment policies, which will force tourism authorities to look elsewhere to compensate.
The VNAT will optimise markets which have air routes with Vietnam and those that permit their citizens to travel abroad and Vietnamese expats to return to their home country since the pandemic is put under control.
Priority will be given to attracting arrivals from the Republic of Korea, Japan, Western Europe, Australia and ASEAN nations.
Greater attention will also be paid to new markets, such as India, the United States, the Middle East, and Russian-speaking countries, including Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
The VNAT will cooperate with local authorities, enterprises, airlines and Vietnam Tourism Development Fund (VTDF) to implement a programme called “Fully live in Vietnam” through promotional events held in ASEAN, the RoK, Japan, India, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Vietnam also plans to attend the Japan Association of Travel Agents Tourism Expo in September and the World Travel Market in London in November, according to the VNAT.
The number of international tourist arrivals reached about 413,000 in the first half of 2022.
The number of foreign visitors has risen sharply since Vietnam reopened its border in mid-March. The May figure doubled that of April while that of June quadrupled that of May.
Most foreign travellers come from countries that enjoy visa exemptions from Vietnam, including the RoK, the UK, France, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia.
The country currently does not impose any COVID-19 restrictions against foreign entries – no required proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, negative test results, mandatory quarantine, health declaration forms, or cap on foreign arrivals.
Still, compared to regional peers, Vietnam appears to be running behind in terms of foreign tourists in the first months of 2022. For example, Thailand has received more than 2.2 million arrivals (as of July 6), Malaysia has received over two million (as of June 21), Singapore has received over 1.5 million (first six months of the year), Indonesia welcomed over 523,000 arrivals (by the end of May 2022), the Philippines welcomed over 814,000 arrivals (the first six months), Cambodia received over 510,000 arrivals (the first six months).