After many years of continuous impressive growth, in 2020, for the first time, as the consequence of COVID-19, Vietnam received a sharp decline in the number of both domestic and international visitors.
On 18th January 2022, in the framework of ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2022 in Cambodia, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) held a Press conference to announce about Vietnam’s tourism recent circumstance to international media reporters.
Thereby, in 2019, Vietnam tourism 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 is estimated at more than USD31.2 billion. Vietnam tourism has received many awards given by World Travel Awards, such as: World’s Leading Heritage Destination, Asia's Leading Cultural Destination, Asia's Leading Culinary Destination, Asia's Leading Heritage Destination, Asia's Leading Destination, Asia's Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination and awarded as World’s Best Golf Destination and Asia’s Best Golf Destination.
However, in the period of 2020-2021, Vietnam tourism has been greatly damaged due to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. After many years of continuous impressive growth, in 2020, for the first time, as the consequence of COVID-19, Vietnam received a sharp decline in the number of both domestic and international visitors. International visitors declined by 80% (reaching 3.7 million arrivals) and domestic visitors declined by 34.1% (reaching 56 million visitors). In 2021, there were mostly no records about international visitors and domestic visitors fell gradually by 29%. Since then, tourism businesses' activities have been hibernating, several businesses encountered difficulties, and employees had to leave their jobs.
Facing piles of difficulties, the tourism industry has made great efforts to implement many solutions to clear difficulties for businesses and employees; propose to the Government and the Prime Minister solutions to support business recovery such as reducing land tax, reducing electricity prices, reducing or freeing sightseeing fee at many tourist attractions. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has issued Guidance 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 discover safe and attractive destinations in Vietnam.
For international tourism, up to now the Government has agreed to pilot in welcoming international tourists with ‘vaccine passports’ to localities including: 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 has issued a temporary Guidance to welcome international tourists and launched the promotion campaign ‘Live fully in Vietnam’ to welcome back international tourists.
In the upcoming time, Vietnam tourism identifies 5 perspectives on recovery: (1) Opening up to restore tourism simultaneously ensuring effective disease prevention; (2) supporting businesses and employees to leverage momentum in the future; (3) restoring both supply and demand side of tourism activities; (4) restructuring the tourism industry to accelerate the recovery process; (5) developing domestic tourism in order to improve internal resources for sustainable tourism development.