Ambitious goal of 5 million foreign visitors reachable though tough: VNAT leader hinh anh 1A view of Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The tourism sector’s target of welcoming 5 million foreign visitors and 60 million domestic tourists this year, and revenue of about 400 trillion VND (17.5 billion USD) is ambitious, but still reachable, according to General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Trung Khanh.

On March 15, the VNAT officially announced the reopening of tourism activities in the new normal, with specific regulations for inbound and outbound tours.

Right in the morning of the day, the Government issued Resolution 32/NQ-CP on the visa exemption policy for citizens from 13 countries from March 15.

Localities nationwide have been requested to issue their own plans to resume tourism activities to suit their specific conditions, while a domestic programme has been launched with various promotion programmes.

Khanh said that VNAT has submitted a national tourism development programme for the 2022-2026 period to the Government. Under the scheme, in the period of 2022-2023, the sector needs resources, support and investment from ministries and sectors to recover by 45-50 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period. In the period, it aims to welcome about 9 million foreign tourists each year.

He said that many major markets of Vietnamese tourism, including Southeast Asia, ASEAN, and Taiwan (China) have shown interest in Vietnam’s reopening. Bright signs have also seen in other markets such as Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, he said, adding that the visa policy for West European countries has also been restored.

Khanh expressed confidence that with the positive efforts and engagement of businesses, ministries, sectors and localities, the target of 5 million foreign arrivals for 2022 is feasible.

However, he held that the tourism reopening needs to follow a roadmap. The peak season for foreign arrivals is from September to April in the following year, therefore, this is a perfect time to announce the reopening of tourism activities, giving time for market connections and tourism promotion activities, Khanh stressed.

According to the VNAT, analytical data from Google Destination Insights shows that international searches for information on Vietnam's tourism and aviation services began rising from early December and skyrocketed later the same month and in early January.

Since the beginning of January, the volume of international searches for Vietnam’s aviation has remained very high. Notably, the increase rate hit 425 percent on January 21, and 374 percent on February 3 against the same period of 2021.

In order to attract more tourists, VNAT has carried out the “Live full in Vietnam” communications campaign through all channels, including its website and through social networks of Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, Youtube and Pinteres, as well as through Vietnamese representative agencies abroad.

After three months of implementation, the campaign has left strong impress on foreign communities. In the time to come, the campaign will be strengthened with the coordination of localities and businesses, with tourism promotion activities in major and potential markets, Khanh said.

He added that VNAT will also foster cooperation with 94 Vietnamese representative agencies abroad and call for their support in promotion activities./.