Vietnam surpasses international tourism goals for 2023

December 26, 2023 | 17:44
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According to an announcement from the Vietnam National Authority of Tourism on December 21, Vietnam has exceeded its 2023 target of attracting eight million international tourists, registering an estimated 12.5 million arrivals.
Vietnam surpasses international tourism goals for 2023

This achievement not only surpasses the initial target set at the beginning of the year but also aligns with the revised October goal of 12.5 to 13 million visitors. Domestic tourism has also exceeded expectations, with approximately 108 million local trips, 5.8 per cent above the year's plan.

The revenue from tourism is projected to reach VND672 trillion (around $28.4 billion), beating the target by 3.38 per cent and equalling 93 per cent of the figure seen in 2019.

Despite these impressive numbers, experts remain cautious in declaring the year a resounding success.

"Vietnam's tourism industry has shown notable resilience, but the journey to a full recovery remains complex," stated Pham Van Thuy, deputy director of the Tourism Administration.

He noted the enhanced global image of Vietnamese tourism and the country's improving competitive edge, as evidenced by its accolade as the World's Leading Heritage Destination at the 2023 World Travel Awards.

According to local media Vnexpress, in a March 15 meeting, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highlighted the paradox in the country's tourism sector, pointing out that despite being one of the first in the region to reopen, the nation has struggled to attract international tourists at pre-pandemic levels.

According to Nguyen Tien Dat, CEO of AZA Travel and vice president of the Hanoi Tourism Club, the true measure of success lies in the comparison with pre-pandemic figures.

"International visitors are a vital contributor to our GDP, bringing in significant foreign currency," Dat explained.

He referenced 2019 as the tourism sector's golden year, with 18 million international visitors and a direct contribution of 9.2 per cent to the GDP.

Though Vietnam ambitiously aimed to welcome 8 million international tourists in 2023, a significant increase from the 5 million witnessed in 2022, Dat believes the recovery should be gauged against the backdrop of 2019.

By that standard, Vietnam's target represented a 44 per cent recovery, a figure Dat deems modest. This cautious perspective underscores the challenges still facing Vietnam's tourism industry as it navigates its post-pandemic recovery.

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