After many years of continuous impressive growth, in 2020, for the first time, as a result of COVID-19, Vietnam saw a sharp drop in the number of domestic and international visitors.
On January 18, 2022, as part of ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2022 in Cambodia, Vietnam National Tourism Administration (VNAT) held a press conference to announce the recent tourism situation in Vietnam to international media reporters.
Thus, in 2019, tourism in Vietnam welcomed 18 million visitor arrivals, an increase of 16.2% compared to 2018 and 85 million domestic visitor trips, an increase of 6%. Total tourism receipts are estimated at over $31.2 billion. Tourism in Vietnam has received many awards from World Travel Awards, such as: World’s No. 1 Heritage Destination, Asia’s No. 1 Cultural Destination, Asia’s No. 1 Culinary Destination, Asia’s No. 1 Heritage Destination, Asia, Asia’s leading sustainable tourism destination and awarded as the World’s Best Golf. Destination and best golf destination in Asia.
However, during the period of 2020-2021, tourism in Vietnam was heavily damaged due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. After many years of continuous impressive growth, in 2020, for the first time, as a result of COVID-19, Vietnam saw a sharp drop in the number of domestic and international visitors. International visitors decreased by 80% (reaching 3.7 million arrivals) and domestic visitors decreased by 34.1% (reaching 56 million visitors). In 2021, there were mostly no records on international visitors and domestic visitors gradually declined by 29%. Since then, the activities of tourism companies have been in hibernation, several companies have encountered difficulties and employees have had to leave their jobs.
Faced with piles of difficulties, the tourism industry has gone to great lengths to implement numerous solutions to the ironed out difficulties for businesses and employees; propose to the government and the Prime Minister solutions to support the resumption of activities such as the reduction of the property tax, the reduction of the prices of electricity, the reduction or the release of the visit fees in many tourist attractions. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued Directive 3862 on safe and flexible adaptation and effective control of COVID-19 in tourism, Plan 3228 to implement solutions to stimulate demand for tourism recovery . These plans have received a positive response from localities, businesses and people, creating a new trend, spreading inspiration to experience safe and attractive destinations in Vietnam.
For international tourism, so far, the government has agreed to pilot the reception of international tourists with “vaccination passports” in localities such as: Phu Quoc (Kien Giang), Quang Nam, Khanh Hoa, Da Nang, Quang Ninh, Binh Dinh, Ho Chi Minh City. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued a temporary guideline to welcome international tourists and launched the “Living Fully in Vietnam” promotion campaign to welcome international tourists again.
In the coming times, Vietnam tourism identifies 5 prospects for recovery: (1) opening up to restore tourism while simultaneously ensuring effective disease prevention; (2) help businesses and employees build momentum going forward; (3) restore both supply and demand for tourism activities; (4) restructuring the tourism industry to accelerate the recovery process; (5) develop domestic tourism to improve domestic resources for sustainable tourism development.