Vietnam Tourism: Sector Forecast and Spend Analysis

Posted by Divakar on March 16th, 2017

Vietnam’s economy has recently transformed from an agrarian to a service economy and tourism has become one of the important elements of the modern Vietnamese economy. The annual arrivals of tourists have been rising since last few years. Considering this, Vietnam’s tourism board which is known as National Administration of Tourism has decided to diversify the tourism industry to bring in more foreign exchange in the country. National parks, heritage sites and beaches are the major attractions for tourists who visit Vietnam. The local Vietnamese tour operators also arrange bicycle tours, photography tours, kayak trips and even tours of neighbouring countries such as Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. 

Vietnam Tourism: Sector Forecast and Spend Analysis – Drivers and restraints

Vietnam is inexpensive. It is one of the cheapest countries not only in Southeast Asia but in the entire world. The value of Vietnam’s currency ‘dong’ is extremely low. For instance, one US dollar is around 22,000 Vietnamese dong. Naturally, even luxurious hotels or guest houses, food and internal travelling is very much affordable for foreign tourists. This is the most important factor driving the growth of Vietnam tourism. Another major factor is that tourists from few countries have visa exemption in Vietnam. South Korean and Japanese tourists can enjoy 15 days visa exemption in Vietnam. The visa application process is extremely simple for US and Australian citizens too; and consequently, a large number of tourists prefer to visit Vietnam over other countries. The Vietnam government has realised tourism to be a key to its future prosperity and is now accordingly implementing appropriate strategies and policies to transform Vietnam into a leading tourism destination in Asia. However, poor public infrastructure, inadequate business laws and lack of investment funds from foreign investors are hampering the growth of the tourism sector in Vietnam.

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Vietnam Tourism: Sector Forecast and Spend Analysis – Future Projections

There is robust development in the future of Vietnam’s tourism. Apart from tourism campaigning by the government, an arrangement of various trade fairs and roadshows will play a vital part to encourage tourism growth in Vietnam. Vietnam offers visa-free travel to the citizens of seven countries – Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Russia. Such policies are likely to boost the growth of the Vietnam tourism industry.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the share of the travel and tourism sector to the GDP of Vietnam in 2015 was VND 279,287.0 billion (6.6% of GDP). This is projected to increase by 5.2% to VND 293,772.0 billion in 2016. The share of the travel and tourism industry to Vietnam’s GDP is expected to increase by 7.2% p.a. to VND 587,593.0 billion (7.2% of GDP) by 2026. In 2015, visitor exports in Vietnam generated VND 213,389.0 billion. In 2016, this is projected to grow by 2.2%, and it is likely that the country will attract 5,158,000 international tourists. By 2026, the number of international tourists is likely to be about 10,280,000, accounting for an expenditure of VND 422,128.0 billion, an increase of 6.8% p.a.

According to the WTCC, spending on leisure travelling accounted for 90.0% of the GDP of the travel and tourism industry in 2015 (VND 339,480.0 billion) compared to 10.0% for spending on business travelling (VND 37,577.9 billion). Spending on business travel is estimated to grow by 8.5% in 2016 to VND 40,765.7 billion, and rise by 6.1% p.a. to VND 73,474.1 billion in 2026. Spends on leisure travel are likely to grow by 4.0% in 2016 to VND 353,007.0 billion, and increase by 6.6% p.a. to VND 669,906.0 billion in 2026.

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Spending on domestic travel accounted for 43.4% of the GDP of the travel and tourism sector in 2015 compared with 56.6% for visitor exports. Spending on domestic travel is likely to grow by 7.4% in the year 2016 to VND 175,730.0 billion, and further grow by 6.2% p.a. to VND 321,252.0 billion in 2026. Visitor exports are expected to grow by 2.2% in 2016 to VND 218,042.0 billion, and rise by 6.8% p.a. to VND 422,128.0 billion in 2026.

The report offers a 360° view – bringing to the fore key drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges prevailing in the sector. To offer readers actionable insights, detailed information on historical trends, current scenario, and future projections is provided in the report. 

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