Việt Nam welcomed nearly 9.8 million foreign visitors in the first seven months of this year, up 7.9 per cent compared with the same period last year.
The figures were recently released by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), showing that although the number of visitors increased during the period, those from China and South Korea, two key markets of Việt Nam, decreased in recent months.
VNAT said the decrease was due to global trade tensions, tightened monetary policy and slower development of Asian economies. The regional countries had fierce competition to attract international tourists by strengthening policies such as product development, aviation connectivity promotion and creation of favourable conditions for visas.
“Meanwhile, some destinations in Việt Nam have become saturated (I mean no more interesting), leading to the dispersion of international arrivals from large source markets,” the VNAT said.
The tourism sector this year targets to welcome about 18 million foreign visitors and 85 million domestic tourists, making total revenue of about VNĐ700 trillion (US$30.14 billion). If this number is achieved, Việt Nam will be one year ahead of the target of receiving 17-20 million international visitors by 2020, set by the Politburo’s Resolution 08-NQ/TW on developing tourism to become a spearhead economic sector of the country.
To turn the target into reality, many localities have issued solutions to promote tourism, including attraction of investment to tourism projects.
According to Vice Chairman of the northern mountainous province of Lạng Sơn’s People’s Committee Dương Xuân Huyên, the provincial tourism sector focuses on building special tourism products based on local cultures in order to make it different to other localities.
“The tourism sector needs to promote the organisation of culture and tourism events, expos and investment promotion conferences and focus on preparations for local tourism programmes including through Việt Bắc Heritage Sites, Văn Quan Flower Festival, Chi Lăng Custard-apple Festival and Bắc Son Mandarin Festival,” Huyên said.
With such preparations, Huyên said Lạng Sơn expected to welcome more than 2.9 million visitors this year, in which 435,000 would come from foreign countries, earning VNĐ1 trillion.
Meanwhile, many households in the southern province of Ninh Thuận have this year invested in homestay models for visitors, who want to learn more about local culture and customs.
The Ninh Thuận Culture, Sports and Tourism Department said there are 50 tangible and intangible cultural and historical relics in the province, including 12 national-level monuments. The province is also a culturally diverse land area of ethnic groups, with traditional festivals such as the Kite Festival, the rain festival of Chăm people; rice seedlings transplantation ceremony of Raglai ethnic minority people – all make a difference for Ninh Thuận.
According to VNAT, Việt Nam will continue focusing on promotion of tourism in key markets including South Korea, China and ASEAN.
The sector will proactively promote advertising for the major international sporting events held in Việt Nam, including F1 Racing, and ASEAN Year 2020 in Việt Nam.