Tourism has become one of the major sectors within the economy of Vietnam in recent years, with a direct GDP contribution of over nine percent in 2019. In the same year, Vietnam also welcomed a record-high number of international visitor arrivals. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted Vietnam’s year-on-year growth of inbound tourism while causing profound consequences for the tourism industry and related sectors. As Vietnam remains closed to international tourists, it is unlikely for inbound tourism to return to pre-pandemic levels this year. On the other hand, domestic tourism has been showing certain signs of recovery.
Vietnam as an emerging tourist destination
Among the fastest growing tourist destinations worldwide, Vietnam is known for its long coastline, rice terraces, and old French-colonial architecture within bustling, modern cities. As Vietnam shifted its heavy reliance on agriculture towards a service economy, tourism has been an essential part of economic growth in recent years. The country had one of the highest numbers of international tourist arrivals in the Asia Pacific region in 2019, with yearly increases in tourism receipts before 2020. Visitors from East Asian countries accounted for the largest group of international tourists in Vietnam. Meanwhile, domestic tourist arrivals had been increasing fast, although inbound tourism receipts still surpassed domestic ones.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Vietnamese tourism industry
Vietnam was not spared from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism worldwide. The country closed its border to international travelers in early 2020 and recorded a decrease of almost 80 percent in international tourist arrivals that year. Formula One’s Vietnamese Grand Prix, one of the most significant projects to boost inbound tourism in 2020, was canceled due to the pandemic. Having managed to control the spread of COVID-19 in the country, Vietnam relied on domestic tourism as the salvation of many local tourism-related businesses. Additionally, hotel rooms have been used as paid quarantine facilities for international arrivals, including Vietnamese repatriates, and permitted foreign visitors, which helped improve room occupancy rate. The government is currently discussing the possibility of opening the border again and the potential usage of vaccine passports in 2021.
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In the following 8 chapters, you will quickly find the 32 most important statistics relating to "Tourism industry in Vietnam".