Covid-19 slices US$23 billion from Vietnam’s tourism revenue

The Hanoitimes - The tourism sector keeps implementing solutions for restoring performance in the final months of the year.


Vietnam’s tourism may lose US$23-billion in revenue due to Covid-19, said Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien at the National Assembly interpellation session on November 9 about the strategy to develop tourism into a spearhead economic sector. 

 Vietnam targets tourism into a spearhead economic sector. Photo: Vietnam Travel

According to the strategy elaborated in 2017, the sector was expected to cater to 17-20 million international and 82 million domestic tourists, making up more than 10% to GDP and grossing total revenue of US$35 billion in 2020. 

In 2019, Vietnam tourism served 18 million international guests and 85 million domestic travelers, earning US$35 billion. The sector’s performance basically met the target set by the Politburo, Minister Thien added. 

However, due to Covid-19, international and domestic tourists have dropped by 80% and 50%, respectively, so far this year from a year ago. This is an extremely difficult year for the tourism industry in Vietnam and the world, he said.

Solutions for restoring tourism

A tourist and local residents by Mu Cang Chai rice terraces. Photo: Duy Khanh (Kinh te & Do thi)

Regarding solutions to the development of tourism, Mr. Thien said that it is necessary to focus on developing human resources and aviation infrastructure; enhancing advertisement and promotion; improving the visa policy; restructuring the tourism industry; strengthening destination management, among others. 

So far, Vietnam is still suspending foreign entry. Without inbound tourism, the sector is estimated to lose US$3.75 million per day, equivalent to US$156,250 per hour. Meanwhile, last year, it earned US$1.73 billion from international tourists (assuming that each tourist spends US$96 a day), equivalent to US$4.8 million per day, according to the Vietnam Tourism Annual Report 2019.

Tourism growth in Vietnam depends on mainly domestic travelers, however, a lot of Vietnamese are reticent to travel due to the pandemic, causing a heavy loss to the industry in revenue in comparison to 2019.

About 3.8 million international guests entered Vietnam in the first ten months of 2020, down 73.8% from a year earlier, according to the General Statistics Office.

To revive inbound tourism, relevant agencies and local enterprises in the industry have joined hands to promote the second stimulus program “Vietnam tourism – a safe and attractive destination.” 

To support the program, the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) also launched the Safe Vietnam Travel app in an effort to ensure travelers’ safety when making trips around Vietnam. 

In mid-October, the VNAT partnered with CNN International to run a new promotional clip inviting travelers to consider Vietnam for their first holidays post Covid-19. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism also requested the VNAT to take immediate measures, such as accelerating the application of digital technology for tourism marketing, managing tourist destinations based on smart technology, building big data and open data to promote the development of the sector.