Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s two largest cities, are listed on the top 100 world’s city destinations compiled by Euromonitor International, a British market research company.

 Hanoi is listed in the top 100 world’s city destinations. HNT Photo: Cong Hung

According to the Euromonitor International Top 100 City Destinations Index 2021, the capital city held the 94th position while the southern metropolis of Vietnam was ranked 90th in the final list. 

The British company conducted research on over 110 cities across 86 markets which was built around six key pillars including Economic and Business Performance, Tourism Performance, Tourism Policy and Attractiveness, Tourism Infrastructure, Health and Safety, and Sustainability. 

Hanoi and HCMC were ranked the top destinations in terms of Economic and Business Performance, Tourism Performance as well as Health and Safety.

In 2021, 52 cities improved their ranks in the index. Cities from Europe and the Americas showed the most progress with 67% and 65%, respectively, of the metropolises showing a positive movement in their ranking. 

Eight of the top 10 cities in the Top 100 City Destinations Index are European including Paris, Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, London, Munich, and Barcelona. Paris is the top-ranked city in the index overall. It has the highest ranking in terms of Tourism Performance and second-highest ranking in terms of Tourism Policy and Infrastructure globally.

Cities from Asia and Australasia showed weaker improvement with only 21% of cities improving their ranking. Tokyo is the highest-ranking Asian city, ranking 15th. 

Vietnam’s two cities scored lower than other Asian cities in the list in terms of Tourism Policy and Attractiveness, Tourism Infrastructure, and Sustainability.

Vietnam has been implementing the two-phase pilot plan for inbound travel resumption, which is expected to fully reopen to international tourism next year after two years of border closures.

In the first 11 months of this year, the number of foreign arrivals to the Southeast Asian country was 140,100, down 96.3% compared to the same period last year.

Euromonitor International suggested the need for balanced tourism strategies is key for cities, as highlighted by the pandemic.

“Strategies must focus on investment in tourism infrastructure and fostering tourism attractiveness, as well as putting greater emphasis on having a sustainable tourism offering which elevates destinations in terms of their health and safety and promotes domestic travel demand,” the report noted.

While technology is expected to play a key role in facilitating many of these efforts, engaging local communities and businesses will be vital as cities work on easing the impact of the pandemic on local economies.