So far, Vietnam has received some 2.91 million
international arrivals in 2010, in comparison with last year’s number of 2.17
million. The tourism industry targets 4.2 million international arrivals in the
whole year of 2010.
In an interview by Saigon Times’ reporter, Vietnam National Administration of
Tourism’s General Director Nguyen Van Tuan voiced the strong recovery of tourism
and targets in the coming period.
As you said in the seminar on “Promotion for Can Tho, Phu Quoc and Lien Khuong
airports”, the tourism industry has confidence in over-fulfilling the target of
4.2 million international arrivals in 2010. Is the industry prepared for a new
development after having experienced the consequences of the global financial
- There are a number of differences in the last 7 months this year. Firstly, we
experienced a difficult time due to the downturn that resulted in visitor
reduction. Therefore, recovery and strong growth can be seen as normal
indication. The first 7 months of 2010 saw significant growth over last
challenging year and fairly good growth in comparison with 2007 and 2008 - the
time tourism industry enjoyed a boom.
Secondly, we have taken full advantage of chances created by outside situations.
Current instability in Thailand brought Vietnam an opportunity to receive
tourist flow who redirected their trips to Vietnam, Malaysia or Singapore
instead of Thailand. On the other hand, long-haul tourists often consider ASEAN,
including Vietnam and Thailand, as one destination. We, thus, see small growth
of this segment which can hardly recover fully after the downturn. Gladly, our
focused source markets that absorb considerable promotional investment still
achieve strong growth, including China, Northeast Asia and ASEAN.
Thirdly, after a decade of development (2000 - 2010), Vietnam tourism industry
has created a steady foundation and brandname. Increasing attractiveness of
Vietnam tourism indicates that we have favourable conditions to enter a new
There, however, exist opinions that Vietnam is only a one-time destination. What
are the industry’s efforts to draw visitors to come back again and again?
- These opinions are both right and wrong. The right side is there are tourists
who do not come back to Vietnam but the number is not many. The wrong side is
that we should not place coming-back criterion the most important.
Psychologically, most of tourists, but MICE ones, usually select different
destinations for each trip.
In downturn time, ASEAN countries, Singapore for instance, lured significant
investment in improving tourist products and services. What has Vietnam tourism
industry done to grasp the chances in post-downturn time?
- Being aware of the issue during downturn time, we concentrated our efforts on
3 following aspects:
Firstly, we tried to attract tourism investment. Despite many difficulties, FDI
flow into tourist service and hotel sector recorded the highest level ever at
USD 8.8 billion last year, exclusive of the investment capital of domestic
Secondly, we focused on developing tourist products and infrastructure, forming
a wide range of products and services.
Thirdly, we spent a lot of resources to promote key source markets, particularly
China, Northeast Asia and ASEAN.
So are these markets still key ones for Vietnam tourism in post-downturn time?
- We focus on some key markets including China, Northeast Asia, ASEAN, Western
Europe and North America. Besides, there have been emerging some others like
Australia and Russia. All of these are of our main concern. Nevertheless,
depending on certain times, we carry out selective promotional campaigns to
attain fast growth and recovery.
Thank you very much!
Source: Saigon Times
Translated by Truyen Phuong (TITC)