Tourism recovery depends on domestic market amid Covid-19 pandemic

The tourism industry of Vietnam is focusing on the local market of 80 million tourists with the expectation of impressive growth in visitors and revenue in 2021.


Vu The Binh, Vice President of the Vietnam Tourism Association, said that before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, domestic tourism (inbound) tourism was always behind international tourism (outbound). In 2019, 49 million Vietnamese traveled in the country, but revenue from local tourists accounted for only about 20% of the tourism industry’s total revenue.

80 triệu dân Việt đi du lịch, cơ hội tăng tốc sau đại dịch

Mr. Vu The Binh: Domestic tourism has been the savior of many travel firms. Photo by Tuan Nam.

The year 2020 showed the resilience of domestic tourism after a period of crisis because of social distancing. In 2021, the Vietnamese tourism industry will continue to focus on this target audience, while preparing to welcome international tourists when necessary conditions are met.

With the theme “Domestic tourism – the driving force to restore Vietnam tourism in new normal context”, the 2021 National Domestic Tourism Forum will take place in the northern city of Ninh Binh on April 14-15, with 400-500 delegates.

At the forum, delegates will analyze the importance of domestic tourism, exchange ideas about the tourism industry of Vietnam and the region, share experience to develop domestic tourism, and propose solutions for domestic tourism development in the coming time.

“Domestic tourism will be the main market of Vietnam in 2021 and 2022. Learning from the demand stimulus programs in 2020, the tourism slogan in this period is to have safety and build recovery plan in a new period,” said Ha Van Sieu, vice head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

Vice President of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh said that Vietnam has launched 3-4 stimulus campaigns for domestic tourism. Many people, when it comes to stimulating tourism demand, think of discounts, but according to Binh, this is unreasonable because the price reduction is limited as it requires cooperation and sharing between travel firms and destinations, which is still weak in Vietnam. Therefore, in the coming time, domestic tourism demand stimulus will not emphasize the price much. Reasonable price and discount will be offered but the quality should not be affected.

80 triệu dân Việt đi du lịch, cơ hội tăng tốc sau đại dịch

These issues will be discussed at the upcoming national travel forum, an event that starts a series of activities aimed at stimulating domestic tourism demand.

After the forum, the annual Vietnam International Travel Mart (VITM) 2021 will take place in Hanoi from May 5 to 8 with the theme “New Normal – New Opportunities”.


At least 450 travel agencies from 40 provinces and cities nationwide and four international markets namely Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are expected to participate in the fair.

The event is expected to gather 350 booths of 450 tourism agencies from 40 localities nationwide to introduce their tourism products and promotions.

The fair will provide an opportunity for the tourism industry to boost travel demand and for participating travel businesses and localities nationwide to promote their products and tourist attractions.

In the previous eight editions, the VITM has gathered mostly travel agents, but now more resorts and hotels have signed up.

Workshops at the VITM 2021 are expected to seek solutions to various problems like the brain drain in tourism human resources.

Ngoc Ha