Tourism Enters Recovery Phase

4:29:01 PM | 10/27/2015

“Tourism is very sensitive. It perhaps plunges with negative incidents, such as political events. When it recovers, it takes time. We still believe in the very positive recovery in the last three months of 2015 and in 2016,” said Nguyen Van Tuan, General Director of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
The tourism industry of Vietnam experienced a difficult period due to objective impacts in the country and in the world. According to a report by VNAT, China and Russia - two key tourism markets of Vietnam - have not escaped from economic difficulty. China is the largest tourist market of Vietnam as it accounts for a quarter of international tourists in the Southeast Asian nation. Tourist arrivals from the world’s second largest economy dropped 13 straight months. Trade embargo, rubble devaluation and crude oil price slumps caused Russian tourists to Vietnam drop sharply.
Fortunately, international tourist arrivals started to revive in the third quarter. Vietnam attracted 5.69 million foreign tourists in the year to mid-September, down only 5.9 percent from the corresponding period of 2014. Meanwhile, the domestic tourist market was very active through nine months. We anticipated that domestic tourist arrivals rose 10 percent to 23.4 million in nine months. Now is a very good time to make a recovery and regain the pace of growth.
At a press conference, VNAT said low-spending markets near to Vietnam like China, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia declined but far-lying markets saw slight declines or growths. Tourists from South Korea surged 31 percent and some high-spending European markets also witnessed increases, especially after Vietnam waived visas for some markets. This showed that the Vietnam Tourism Development Strategy to 2020, with a view to 2030, is going on a right track. The first nine months partially showed the development trend of Vietnam’s tourism market: High-spending tourists with long stay durations.
Tourists from China and Russia restarted to rally. The growth was seen in tourists travelling by air while the slump was occurred to tourists going on road. The decline of Chinese tourists narrowed from 29 percent in the first six months to 20 percent in the first nine months while the drop from Russia was from over 20 percent to only 10 percent, respectively.
Particularly, Resolutions 40 and 46 of the Government on waiver of visa for citizens of the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Belarus produced good effects. The high growth was driven from citizens of these five countries working near Vietnam like Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia,” Mr Tuan said.
Coupled with positive developments from international markets, the domestic market still maintained a good growth rate. He said that domestic travellers are divided into two groups: One is overnight stay and another is one-day visit. According to statistics from the General Statistics Office (GSO), the nine-month tourism revenue climbed 28 percent on the growth of high-spending class, the increase of domestic tourists and the improvement of services quality. This is indeed a positive sign for the tourism sector in Vietnam.
“If the current growth rate is maintained throughout the year, we will be able to fill the loss incurred in the first six months of this year. If there are no extraordinary or sudden factors, Vietnam’s tourism sector will enter into the recovery phase,” said Mr Tuan.
Vietnam will focus on tourism promotion from now until the end of the year. The tourism sector will attend important tourism events like the World Tourism Fair (WTM) in the UK, ITB Asia in Singapore and tourism fair in Chengdu, China; organise events in Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Spain and Belarus. In addition to concentrating on five countries with visa waiver, VNAT will further introduce Vietnam’s tourism in Singapore and Hong Kong, the biggest tourist transit centres in Asia.
Thu Huyen