The number of international tourists to Vietnam in March reached 42,000, marking an increase of 41.4% over the previous month year on year thanks to the easing of travel restrictions, according to the data of the General Statistics Office.
Signs of recovery
|Foreign travelers enjoyed Emperor Cruise in Lan Ha Bay, Quang Ninh Province. Photo: Pham Ha
A statistical report shows that the number of international arrivals in March reached nearly 42,000, increasing by 41.4% over the previous month. Visitors from Northeast Asia accounted for 70%.
In the first quarter of this year, roughly 91,000 foreign tourists visited the country a year-on-year rise of 89.1%. Among them, visitors arriving by air accounted for nearly 90.5%, an increase of 165.2%.
Revenue from accommodation and food services in the January-March period increased by 1.2 % year on year, while tourism revenue rose by 1.9 % year on year.
However, the number of foreign arrivals in the last three months has not met expectations, according to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Doan Van Viet, who blamed the interruption of the ‘arrivals flow’ for the situation.
“While Vietnam has completely opened up to inbound tourism, neighboring countries still apply many restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic such as China, South Korea, among others,” Viet said at a recent regular Government meeting in early April.
The Covid-19 pandemic has halted the flow of foreign travelers to the nation during the past two years. “The connection among tourism businesses was seriously damaged. Therefore, it takes time for them to reconnect with one another,” he added.
In addition, the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine is also one of the factors affecting the number of international arrivals. The drastic drop is clearly visible in some tourist destinations like the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa or the southern coastal province of Binh Thuan – which are popular with Russian and Chinese tourists.
|Visitors to the Balloon Festival in late March in Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Huy
Hanoi strives to attract international visitors
In the context of Vietnam completely resuming all tourism activities, Hanoi is promoting the development of domestic travel, in line with the Government’s policy of safe and flexible adaption and effective control of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the statistic of the municipal Tourism Department, the capital city has welcomed about 2.8 million domestic tourists since the beginning of this year, an inter-annual increase of 45.3%. The city earned approximately VND7.8 trillion (US$343.1 million) in tourism revenue between January and March, up 45.3% year on year.
Regarding the hotel business, as of March 2022, there are 3,725 tourist accommodation establishments in Hanoi with more than 70,000 rooms; in which there are 591 hotels with 24,415 rooms, accounting for 15.9% of the total.
In the first quarter of 2022, the average occupancy rate of the hotel sector reached about 19.3%, representing a fall of 1.9% over the same period in 2021.
According to the director of the Hanoi Department of Tourism, Dang Thi Huong Giang, there are some good signals of tourism recovery in Hanoi where quite a few tourism and cultural activities have been held during the last three months such as the “Get on Hanoi” program, Vietnam International Tourism Mart 2022 in Hanoi, “Hanoi: Travel to Love” event, among others, attracting thousands of participants.
|Visitors to Vietnam International Tourism Mart 2022 held last month in Hanoi. Photo: Khanh Huy
“Foreign visitors are expected to return to Hanoi in the third quarter of 2022,” Giang said at the Regular briefing on the first quarter of 2022 by the Hanoi People’s Committee, on April 6.
In the coming time, the city will focus on two groups of visitors to promote tourism. “Hanoi will focus tourism promotion on countries whose citizens enjoy Vietnam visa exemption and countries with high safety measures against Covid-19,” she stated.
The promotion of destinations and tourism products of the city will be carried out on domestic media and international television channels such as CNN. Its tourism industry continues to diversify forms of communication through social networking platforms, mass information systems, and tourist support lines.
Giang said that the city has issued a plan to ensure the process of welcoming international tourists in the coming time. Plans have been devised to deal with arising medical situations related to Covid-19.
In the second quarter of 2022, the city will focus on attracting domestic tourists on the occasion of major holidays such as the Hung Kings Anniversary (April 9 to 11), Reunification Day and May Day (from April 30 to May 3) and the Southeast Asian Games (from May 12 to 23).