Vietnam tourism still targets 5 million foreign tourists per year
Nguyen Trung Hanh, deputy head of Vietnam's National Tourism Administration, told a conference late last week that the industry showed signs of marked improvement after the government opened up international travel and allowed entry without quarantine from March 15.
Back to news list
In the first half of this year, the country received 602,000 foreign tourists, a 6.8 times increase from last year, when pandemic-related entry restrictions were still in place.
However, this is only 12 percent of the five million target set for this year.
Khan said that before the end of this year, the industry should focus on attracting tourists from potential markets such as India, the US and the Middle East.
According to statistics from the National Tourism Administration of Vietnam, the US sent the second largest number of visitors to Vietnam after the country reopened its borders.
Before the pandemic, India was one of Vietnam's fastest growing tourism markets with a 28 percent annual growth in 2019.
Vietnam Airlines currently operates direct flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to San Francisco, while Vietjet Air plans to open more routes connecting Vietnam's main tourist destinations with cities in India.
In addition, tourism officials will work with travel firms and foreign ambassadors to boost tourism campaigns in Western European countries, South Korea, Japan and ASEAN, especially those that have been offered visa-free travel by Vietnam.
The tourism industry will also organize family trips to welcome travel firms from Europe, the US and South Korea to promote the country's image.
As of March 15, Vietnam allowed entry without quarantine and resumed its pre-pandemic visa waiver policy for citizens from 24 countries, including Japan, South Korea, and EU members.
However, the government is only issuing one-month single-entry visas to visitors from other countries and has not resumed the pre-pandemic rate of issuing three-month visas.
Travel firms complain that unfriendly visa policies are still the biggest hurdle to tourism recovery in Vietnam.