Ha Long Bay (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam needs to invest more in tourism promotion work to keep up with regional countries, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).

VNAT statistics show that each year, only 2 million USD is allocated for tourism promotion activities, while the figure exceeds 100 million USD in other regional nations, such as Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.

Vietnam received 7.94 million international tourists in 2015, ranking fifth among the ASEAN nations. However, the figure was equal to just 27 percent of the number of foreign visitors to Thailand, 31 percent of that to Malaysia, and half of the number of Singapore.

In the 2011-2015 period, Thailand and Singapore had an average annual growth of 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively in terms of foreign visitors

Vietnam’s figure stayed at seven percent, even lower than the Philippines at 8 percent, Laos at 15 percent and Myanmar 51 percent.

In order to realise the target of receiving 20 million international visitors by 2019, Indonesia has applied visa exemptions for citizens of 169 nations by March.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has applied exemptions for citizens of just 22 countries as of June this year.-VNA