Tourism plays a vital role in promoting Vietnam’s economy. The extensive investment and constant rapid development of infrastructure and transport networks aim at bringing more accessibility to major attractions in the country. Vietnam has a long history of influences from the Chinese and the French, and its unique cultural traditions are still maintained. Together with the stunning landscape and breathtaking sceneries, these factors attract over 10 million visitors annually with revenues estimated to be at USD 3.7 billion, according to Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.
Despite being one of Asia's hotspots for years, the pandemic has taken a severe toll on Vietnam's tourism industry, and 2020 has seen a plunge in terms of visitors due to health concerns and the country's lockdown restrictions.
In its heyday when Vietnam tourism was in high demand, total international arrivals could reach up to 15,497,791 in 2018. Source: GSO
Top 10 International Visitors in Vietnam (Source: Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism)
COVID-19 Impact on Vietnam Tourism
- Vietnam has opened its border to foreign tourists since May 2022, no quarantine or testing required.
- International travelers coming to Vietnam are encouraged to sign up for travel insurance that covers COVID-19-related issues, with a minimum of USD 10,000.
- Face masks should be worn in public places, and everyone should still follow SOCID-19 safety regulations. Vaccines are also being rolled out for the general public, including the Vero cell vaccine (China), Pfizer and Moderna (US), AstraZeneca (Europe),...
- Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms (coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, etc.) must contact the local healthcare center or call Vietnam’s health hotline: 1900 3228 immediately
In a developing economy like Vietnam, a boom in the tourism industry can help to generate a substantial amount of economic benefits directly through hotels, resorts, restaurants, pubs, taxis, souvenir sales, etc., and indirectly to tourism-related businesses through the supply of goods and services.
According to VietnamBriefing, Vietnam's tourism revenues rose to VND 620 trillion (US$26.75 billion) in 2018, up VND 110 billion (US$4.75 billion) compared to the preceding year.
Immense effort has been put into the development of tourism
In order to push for tourism development growth in Vietnam, the local government has put effort into improving infrastructures, like airports, public transportation networks, sewage systems, electricity, and roads. This rapid expansion has led to significant employment creation.
Particularly, the first metro line will soon come into operation in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, and there will be speedboats traveling from Ho Chi Minh to Con Dao in 2019.
With a significant scale of economic development, it comes with both positive and negative consequences.
Positive impacts include a rise in employment, income, and a general increase in the standards of living for the local Vietnamese. Whereas, some hidden costs and unfavorable effects of tourism include unsustainable tourism, with the development bringing a negative impact on the environment and local culture. And an increase in demand for essential goods and services from tourists often results in price hikes for locals, whose income and purchasing power are incomparable to travelers abroad. This might make it difficult for the Vietnamese to meet their basic daily needs.
Depending on the job roles in the hospitality industry, some problems that seasonal workers face are job insecurity with no guarantee of employment from one season to the next, and their difficulties in getting sufficient training for the job.
Read more on Responsible Travel in Vietnam.
Top tourists attractions in Vietnam and points of interest include the UNESCO World Heritage site at Halong Bay, the country’s capital of Hanoi, the terraced rice fields at Sapa, the country’s former capital of Hue, Hoi An’s ancient town, one of the most beautiful beaches in the country at the coastal city of Nha Trang, the central highlands at Dalat, the busy and lively metropolitan of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), and the countryside rice paddies at the Mekong Delta.
Hanoi has always been in the top most-visited cities in Vietnam
Rated as home to 2 out of the 50 most beautiful places in World in 2017, according to cntraveler, Vietnam is a country on many people’s bucket list.
|To have fun trips in Ho Chi Minh City, check out our authentic motorbike tours with professional local guides!|
As a country rich in culture and traditions, people love traveling to Vietnam to learn and experience something unfamiliar. Seeing the other side of the world first-hand might be better than learning from textbooks in a classroom. Whether it is learning a new language, culture, cuisine, or a deeper appreciation of faith or spirituality, Vietnam has something for everyone.
Another reason to travel to Vietnam is to escape the everyday norms, which is particularly helpful for workaholics and those with stressful and demanding jobs. Vietnam is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it can not only give you escape but can also heal your mind and body. If you’re looking for some relaxation and rejuvenation, Vietnam’s long coast has what you're looking for.
Last but not least, some people choose Vietnam as a destination for travel because they want to challenge themselves and get out of their comfort zone. And Vietnam is the ideal place to put yourself up to the test. With new exposure to people and experiences, finding your way around the millions of motorbikes in the busy city of Ho Chi Minh (Saigon), and trying to order a meal without knowing how to speak Vietnamese are all exciting challenges. Once you can overcome these obstacles, you’ll realize how capable you are at tackling new adventures.
The primary currency in Vietnam is the Vietnam Dong or VND for short. When you make purchases in Vietnam, the VND is preferred. In touristy areas and shops, some vendors do accept USD and credit cards, but we recommend that you travel in VND.
You don’t need to worry about having your VND exchanged abroad because you can easily find currency exchanges in Vietnam at the airports and in your hotels.
When you visit Vietnam, many types of transportation are available in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) making it easy to navigate and get around places. For the rural areas, it will be challenging, and you will need the help of the local guides. While public transports like buses are widely available, routes are not straightforward and could be a challenge for some people to get around.
Motorbikes or scooters are the most common type of transport for the Vietnamese. Cars and taxis are available, too, but the motorized 2-wheelers are the day-to-day preferred method of transport and a convenient way to get around town. To tour Vietnam authentically on a motorbike, check out our featured Ho Chi Minh tours with local professional guides. All tours are private.
When you travel to any country abroad, the factors that should be of concern are safety, scams, and annoyances. Vietnam is safe to visit, but occasionally, there are petty crimes, like pickpockets and theft. As a word of advice, it is best not to attract attention, and you should be fine.
Our team at i Tour Vietnam has some excellent and insightful guides on safety tips and alerts for staying safe when traveling in Vietnam. Check them out at:
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Most people, at some point in their life, will have the urge to discover and travel. As Vietnam becomes more popular with international visitors, it is best to visit the country sooner than later, before the rest of the nation becomes a victim of globalization. Whether you plan to travel to Vietnam for business, vacation, shopping, or pleasure, Vietnam’s tourism industry is improving each day rapidly. As a developing country, there is still room for improvement, and the local government is putting effort into helping Vietnam's tourism by investing and implementing stimulating growth factors mentioned above.
Got questions about visiting Vietnam? Reach out to us through our Contact page.
© Written by Alexis for itourvn.com
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