Phu Quoc island (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Despite a slight decrease in the number of tourists in 2015, the first time in many years, Vietnam’s non-smoke industry still has a bright future ahead, according to tourism authorities.

The tourism sector has seen a difficult year in 2015 as the downtrend in international tourists continued from the previous year and the trend only stopped in the fourth quarter.

However, a massive investment flow into the field and the rising of new destinations brought hope to the sector.

According to a recent report from the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism on the implementation of the strategy for tourism development, tourism investment has seen a change in quality.

At present, around 1,000 projects with a combined capital of dozens of trillion VND were implemented or are being implemented, mostly in coastal and mountainous areas. Some are multi-trillion VND projects, such as Vinpearl Phu Quoc (17 trillion VND or over 755 million USD), Phu Quoc cable car line (10 trillion VND), Ba Na cable car line (6 trillion VND) and Vinpearl Quy Nhon (4.5 trillion VND).

As of 2015, the country has nearly 20,000 accommodation facilities with more than 419,280 rooms, an annual average increase of 15.87 percent, exceeding the strategy goal of 390,000 rooms.

Going against the main trend, Da Nang city continues maintaining its status as a top destination in Vietnam with a strong increase of international tourists visiting the city.

In the first 11 months of this year, the central city welcomed 1.1 million international visitors and the number is estimated to rise to 1.25 million by the end of the year, a surge of 30.8 percent from one year ago.

The municipal department of culture, sports and tourism said the city hopes to welcome 1.3 million foreign holiday makers in 2016.

Phu Quoc is another bright spot on Vietnam’s tourism map with a strong growth following the opening of some big projects and is predicted to become a major tourist destination in the near future.

The 15-day visa exemption policy for tourists from France, Germany, England, Spain, Italy and Belarus is also a contributed factor to reverse the decreasing trend.-VNA